Strabane Spring Carnival details announced

A float makes its way through Strabane town centre during last years parade.

A float makes its way through Strabane town centre during last years parade.

Derry City and Strabane District Council is inviting the Strabane public to celebrate St Patrick’s Day in style with a weekend of music, dance and folklore in its Spring Carnival from March 17-19.

The packed programme of events includes puppetry and storytelling at the Alley Theatre, a 5k Fun Run at the Melvin Complex, Irish Language events and live music and entertainment across a number of venues including the Alley Theatre and Market Street.

There will also be a St Patrick’s Day Family Fun afternoon in Butcher Street Car Park from 12-5pm with a kid’s farm and funfair favourites.

The highlight of the celebrations on Friday March 17 will be the Spring Carnival Parade in Strabane town centre which is being organised by the local St Patrick’s Day Committee and will see hundreds of performers from community based organisations taking part.

The theme of this year’s festival is Forever Young – a celebration of youthfulness of mind and spirit - one that is particularly apt for Grand Marshal of the parade for the last 12 years Pat Gillespie who is this year celebrating his 100th birthday.

Pat will be joined by MMA star James ‘The Strabanimal’ Gallagher who has been confirmed as a VIP guest.

Before and after the parade there will be entertainment in the Alley Theatre and Butcher Street including live music and children’s arts, face painting and much more.

Speaking at the Spring Carnival launch, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, noted this year’s packed programme has something for all the family.

“I’d like to congratulate all those who organise and take part in the carnival parade which is one of the biggest events in Strabane,” she said.

“I’m particularly impressed by the events planned for The Alley Theatre which is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year.

“With shows, live music and entertainments, The Alley provides a great day out for families and ensures a great vantage point for viewing the parade.”

PRO for the Strabane St Patrick’s Day Parade committee, Aaron Harkin added:

“Planning for the parade is now at an advanced stage and we are looking forward to welcoming thousands of people to the streets of Strabane to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. It is a great occasion for all the family and the crowds bring a welcome boost to our local economy.

“We would still welcome any more groups who want to take part in the parade, as well as playing a part in your local community it’s a great way to promote your organisation to the public.”

More information on Council’s St Patrick’s Day Spring Carnival programme is available at www.derrystrabane.com/springcarnival.