After all the waiting the big day is finally here

READY, STEADY, PARTY

By Ciara Quinn

THE CURTAIN goes up across the city today (Thursday Aug 1) as Féile25 begins its 11-day programme of events across the West of the city.

Féile an Phobail Director Kevin Gamble was yesterday busy putting the finishing touches to this year’s extravagaza.

“After months of preparation and planning by the Féile team for our 25th birthday celebrations, it’s hard to believe we’re finally here,” he said. “I’m really looking forward to welcoming so many people from our local community as well as a multitude of international  visitors to Féile.

“25 years is a big birthday in anyone’s book, but we’re really proud to have come so far over the last quarter century without losing our community roots.

“In keeping with this landmark year, we’ve pulled out all the stops to make this the biggest and best Féile an Phobail yet. These 11 days in August are a chance for people from far and wide to come and experience what West Belfast and Féile is all about. It’s our chance to shine and really put ourselves on the map.

“Whether it’s the Carnival Parade, the range of amazing discussions and debates, the talks, the tours, the fine dramas such as the world premier of Two Nights with George or just the sense of community festival fun about the entire West of the city, there really is something for absolutely everyone. And that’s what I’m proudest of most of all.”

Speaking at the launch, Operations Manager at the Kennedy Centre Michael Moore said the centre was delighted to host a number of events during the Festival.

“We have Ballymurphy – The Story Behind the Photogrpah Exhibition running from Thursday 1 until Friday August 9, the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where families are very welcome  on Tuesday, August 6 and Relatives For Justice will be displaying their Remembrance Quilt in the centre for the duration of the Festival.”

As a special treat, this Sunday the community is invited to celebrate Mass in the Falls Park as Clonard Rector Fr Michael Murtagh officiates. Mass begins at 11am and Fr Murtagh said” “It’s just like having the Novena all over again but this time in the Falls Park – all are welcome!”

Mass will be followed by one of the Féile staples – the Carnival Parade which will depart from Conway Street at 1pm this Sunday.

Children and young people will be parading side by side with professional circus performers in what is one of the biggest events in the Feile programme. The theme this year is ‘Wonders of the North’ and everyone is welcome to attend. Prizes will be given to the Best Dressed Group, Individual, Newcomer and Best Float.

A great day of fun and family entertainment – come rain or shine – will follow as Britain’s Got Talent’s singer-songwriter Jordan O’Keefe entertains the large crowds with his winning combination of melodies and songs.

Bouncy castles, assault courses, street theatre, archery and climbing towers will be dotted across the Falls Park lawn as the Party in the Park is held until 4pm. All are welcome!

For details on the Festival line up and ticket

information visit www.

feilebelfast.com

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