Omagh’s St Patrick’s Day to share heritage and traditions

St Patrick's Day launch

Published: 12th February 2016

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has announced details of this year’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Omagh.

Taking place on Thursday 17 March 2016, this year’s event, with the theme ‘Sharing heritage and traditions’, includes a programme of free entertainment and activities across Omagh throughout the day.

The OASIS Plaza will form part of Omagh’s St Patrick’s Day celebrations for the first time with family entertainment such as face painting, balloon modelling and children’s craft from 12 noon. There will also be music, including a performance from traditional folk band ‘Blackthorn’ during the afternoon, and a selection of food stalls.

Musical entertainment and a craft and food market with cookery demonstrations from the Silverbirch Hotel’s resident chef to celebrate Tourism NI’s ‘Year of Food and Drink 2016’ will take place at the Strule Arts Centre from 12 noon to 5.00 pm.  The St Patrick’s Day primary school poster exhibition, with entries from local primary schools, will also be on display. The exhibition runs at the Strule Arts Centre from Friday 11 March to Saturday 2 April 2016.

At 1.30 pm the colourful, multi-cultural St Patrick’s Day Parade featuring local community groups, businesses, sporting organisations, schools and bands will leave Omagh County Hall car park and bring music and magic to the streets.

This year’s parade will follow a new 1.5 kilometre looped route to enhance the festival atmosphere. It will snake its way to Omagh Court House where it will be welcomed by Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly. The parade will then move around the back of the Court House and finish at its starting point, Omagh County Hall car park.

On street entertainment, compered by Pio McCann, will be on offer from 1.30 pm outside Omagh Court House. ISL and BSL sign language interpreters will also be located at the front of the Court House to interpret parade participants as they pass by with an access area for spectators with access requirements to provide a clear view of the stage and parade.

A quiet space will also be available at the Strule Arts Centre throughout the day for those who may need some time away from the crowds and noise.

Launching this year’s ‘Sharing heritage and traditions’ St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Omagh, Chairman of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Thomas O’Reilly, said:

“St Patrick’s Day in Omagh promises to be a celebration of cultures and traditions within the Fermanagh and Omagh district with colour, sights and sounds for all the family to enjoy.

I am looking forward to experiencing my first St Patrick’s Day in Omagh and will be honoured to lead the parade in Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s inaugural year.”

A number of fringe events will also take place at the Strule Arts Centre in the run up to St Patrick’s Day.  These include a free sean-nós dance workshop on Friday 11 March, a festival concert ‘Ceolchoirm na Féile also on March 11, The Whistlin’ Donkeys album launch on Saturday 12 March and a primary schools céilí on Tuesday 15 March. For further information on St Patrick’s Day fringe events please contact the Strule Arts Centre directly on 028 8224 7831 or visit the Strule Arts Centre website.

For further information on the St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Omagh or to express an interest to take part in the event please contact Fermanagh and Omagh District Council’s Events Officer by telephoning 0300 303 1777 or visit the relevant section of the Council website.

St Patrick’s Day celebrations in Omagh have been made possible by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council with support from the Council’s Good Relations Programme assisted by OFMDFM and the Public Health Agency.

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