Big programme for Peace Bridge opening

A full weekend of events has been planned for the grand opening of Derry’s new bridge between friday June 24 and Sunday 26.

The European Development Fund and ilex have compiled a list of almost 100 events and activities to ensure that the Derry public turns out en mass for the opening of their Peace Bridge.

The grand opening of the £13.5million project will be held at 3pm on Saturday June 25. A specifically commissioned piece of music by Ian Wilson will be performed, at what organisers are referring to as “this historic moment for our city.”

The song will be performed by a chorus of 600 school pupils from all the schools in the Derry City Council area. They are to be accompanied by an orchestra and a choir, thereby providing the perfect soundtrack to what it is hoped will be the first of many happy journeys across the city’s most modern landmark.

There are scores of activities ahead of this grand opening. In essence the City will host two mini festivals over the course of the weekend, one each side of the river, to entice people to cross the bridge - the One World Festival in The Craft Village and Carnivale of Colours at St. Columb’s Park.

Events will commence on the Friday afternoon with a series of international movies and world music by DJ Sipho in the Craft Village.

Those attending will be entertained by not one but three performances from the Inishowen Gospel Choir at the Craft Village on Friday evening.

On Saturday there is Irish dancing, graffiti workshops, street theatre and comedy routines, live music, story telling, the Walled City Market, Polka from Balkan Alien Sound System, Bollywood dancing and performances from the MacCafferty School of Singing to keep the interested audiences moving, dancing and entertained.

One event planned for 3pm Saturday, 25 is simply entitled: ‘The lords of Strut. B-List celebrities in spandex!’ at St. Columb’s Park. A repeat performance is scheduled for the same time the following day.

Saturday June 25 finishes with a drum and fire performance at Ebrington Parade ground before a “fireworks extravaganza” which will launch the public art installation ‘The Mute Meadow.’

Events continue on Sunday, so whether you’re in Guildhall Square, St. Columb’s Park or The Craft Village, you will not be far from some of the action. The weekend of events concludes with ‘Carnivale of Colours by night.’ Hosted in a circus big top, the Gypsy Ball, Carnivale of Colours by night, features among others The Urban Voodoo Machine and Ard Ri.

It is the sprawling footbridge which will be the star of the show, and the Derry public are sure to want to enjoy a stroll across what is undeniably the latest iconic addition to the city’s built heritage.