Thousands to celebrate Peace bridge opening

BUILDING BRIDGES. . . . Joseph Allan, St Patrick's PS, and Daniel Kane, Lisnagelvin PS, celebrating the opening of the Peace Bridge, which takes place this weekend. (2406SL100) Photo: Stephen Latimer

BUILDING BRIDGES. . . . Joseph Allan, St Patrick's PS, and Daniel Kane, Lisnagelvin PS, celebrating the opening of the Peace Bridge, which takes place this weekend. (2406SL100) Photo: Stephen Latimer

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Thousands of people are expected to descend on Derry this weekend to enjoy a host of events planned to coincide with the opening of the Peace Bridge.

A massive programme of live events and entertainment activities are planned for today, tomorrow and Sunday as well as the historic opening of the bridge at 2pm tomorrow.

The opening events are running in conjunction with the Carnival of Colours in St Columb’s Park and the One World Festival at Guildhall Square and the Craft Village. For the first time, the two events will be linked by the new bridge and Saturday’s celebrations will culminate in a firework spectacular and the official switch-on of Mute Meadow, an illuminated public art project for the city.

Tomorrow history will be made with the opening of the new bridge. The city will be a hive of activity throughout the day and an exciting festival atmosphere is billed by the organisers for both the east and west bank.

The centrepiece of the weekend will, of course, be the bridge opening at 2pm when a chorus of 600 voices from across all schools in the Derry City Council area will lead the opening celebration and ceremony, performing a new piece of music by composer Ian Wilson.

A spokesperson for Ilex, which is overseeing the celebrations said: “Our young people are the perfect ambassadors to mark this historic moment for our city.They represent family, neighbourhood and community. The Walled City Market will be open in Guildhall Square from 11am to 6pm offering a wide range of speciality goods and crafts while live entertainment will take place throughout the day.

The acts performing in Guildhall Square include the Harmonicity Drumming Circle at 12.30pm, Flash Dance Bollywood Style, Magwere a Seven piece funky band playing music from Zimbabwe - will perform from 2.30 to 3.30pm. DJs and MCs will be on hand to keep the crowds entertained at all three main venues between performances throughout the day.

The Carnivale of Colours will be on display throughout the festivities in a fabulous feast of fun including stilt walkers, live music, storytelling, drum circle, art workshops, pony rides and international food to tempt your grumbling bellies.

For a the full programme of events see page 46.