St Columb’s Park is set to come alive this Saturday, July 6, as more than 2,000 musicians attend the All Ireland Pipe Band and Drum Major Championships at the Waterside venue.
The 68th annual championships are being hosted by Derry in order to mark its City of Culture status, the event is also being run in connection with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.
A number of local bands, including Colmcille, Bready Ulster-Scots and Tullintrain will join with more than 70 other Pipe Bands in the park so those who attend are guaranteed a day of vibrant colour and music. Derry’s drumming fans will be afforded an opportunity to watch the best pipe bands and drum majors compete for the coveted title of ‘All Ireland Champions.’ At the conclusion of the competition there will be the grand spectacle of the march past and salute to the Chieftain, when all competing bands play as one before the prizegiving.
It will be a day of music, colour, and pageantry with plenty of side attractions to keep the whole family entertained. Event organisers have promised: “A superb family day out and a wonderful spectacle.”
Culture Company 2013 Chief Executive Shona McCarthy said: “It is a privilege to be able to welcome any All Ireland Championship to the city during our year as City of Culture and this one promises to be one of the highlights of the summer. It will be a great family day out, a wonderful spectacle and, I’m sure, fierce competition to be crowned All Ireland champions on the day.”
Chairman of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, Northern Ireland Branch, Ray Hall, said: “Our organisation are delighted that Derry is hosting the 68th annual awards. There is a rich cultural heritage of piping in Ireland, and along with our counterparts in the Irish Pipe Band Association, it gives us the opportunity to be involved in the City of Culture celebrations by showcasing the finest pipe bands and drum majors from Ireland and further afield.” Ciaran Mourdant, Chairman, Irish Pipe Band Association, remarked: “Member bands from the I.P.B.A. are looking forward to competing at and contributing to the UK City of Culture celebrations.” Admission to St. Columb’s Park on Saturday will cost £5.50 and the event begins at 11am.