Final preparations are being put in place for one of the biggest and colourful festivals to ever be held in the heart of Newry City. The week long Pride in Newry event which starts on Saturday (September 22) will see a wide range of activities take place across the city. From film screenings to historical tours and photo exhibitions to karaoke the festival features something to suit everyone. But the undoubted highlight of the week will be the Pride Parade and Party in the Park on Saturday September 29. Featuring floats, music, costumes and walk about circus performers the parade will bring a carnival of colour and sparkle to the streets of Newry. Starting at 2pm in the historical centre of Newry at the Camlough Road Roundabout the parade will make its way along Monaghan Street, then through Merchant Quay, Sugar Island, Kildare Street, Hill Street and Mill Street before returning to Monaghan Street where the Party in the Park will be getting underway. Hosted by Miss Trisha Delisha and Lady Portia Di Monte and headlined by Brian Kennedy the concert will be held at McClelland Park (formerly Corry Square) and features performances from TV’s The Voice UK Finalist Barbara Bryceland, fun feisty females The Diva Dolls and International recording artist Ryan Jagger. Plenty of Newry’s own talent will also be showcased with singer Michelle Magee, five piece country and blues band The Nooks, Magnet Centre Battle of the Bands winner Bound by Gravity, Academy Dance Studio Burlesque Belles and Morgan Theatre Arts to name but a few all taking centre stage at McClelland Park. Almost all of the Pride in Newry events throughout the week are free and every one of them is open to all. Speaking ahead of the festival Secretary of the Pride in Newry Steering Group Damian McKevitt said he is confident the festival will be a successful major public event attracting thousands of people into Newry city centre for the parade, the concert and outdoor entertainment. “We believe that the economic benefit of this event will convince local businesses and Newry and Mourne District Council to support and expand the event in future years making it an important major annual event in the tourism package of the district,” he added. Newry Rainbow Community (NRC) Chairman Rory Rafferty meanwhile urged the city to embrance the event. “This is exactly what it says – pride in our city” he said. It’s about celebrating the people, places and progress of Newry and we would love to see the city centre come out in force and support the event together as the proud people we are.” AS full programme of festival activities is available at the NRC centre on Hill Street (above Shooter Property Services) or call into the Democrat and pick up your copy from reception. More Details will also appear in next week’s paper.
18th September 2012