Once upon a time in a Lisburn wonderland

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Excited little Princess Emma waved her magical wand to herald the launch of The City of Lisburn Mayor’s Carnival Parade and Pipe Band Championships on Saturday May 10.

Proving that no-one is too old for fairytales, Emma is joined by her grandmother, the Mayor of Lisburn, Councillor Margaret Tolerton and Alderman Paul Porter, Chairman of the Council’s Leisure Services Committee as they look for help from Carnival revellers to chase the big band wolf away.

This year’s theme draws inspiration from classic fairy tales. Carnival organisers are preparing for an event out of the realms of fantasy when the streets of Lisburn will be teemed with creativity, rhythm and bass when thousands of costumed revellers parade elaborately decorated floats and huge, towering characters will sweep through the city’s streets.

The Mayor, Councillor Margaret Tolerton said: “The atmosphere in Lisburn at Mayor’s Carnival is simply magical and an enchanting spectacle. The colourful procession will feature over 1,000 brightly clad carnival performers, street entertainers, dancers and masqueraders in an unrivalled display of street arts and creativity.

“The whole day will have a wonderful, festival and family friendly atmosphere and I look forward to warmly welcoming hundreds of celebrators to our city and placing another great event on Northern Ireland’s cultural calendar.”

Up to 10,000 people are expected to descend on the city for the festivities. Spectators will shimmy to the addictive rhythm of the carnival beat of marching bands.

Looking forward to the revels Alderman Paul Porter, Chair of Leisure Services, Lisburn City Council, said: “The Mayor’s Carnival is a hugely popular event. Thousands head to our city every year to take in the stunning displays, which members of the community have spent hours carefully crafting. There are lots of opportunities for people to join in the festivities of the day, listen to great live music or be entertained by great street theatre and spectacle.”

Hundreds of school children dressed as fairies, goblins, elves, trolls, mermaids and gnomes will parade alongside community groups, proudly displaying their carnival costumes, designed by themselves through the Island Arts Centre Carnival workshops in association with the award winning ArtsEkta and The Beat Carnival.

The mesmerising spectacle will snake its way through the city to Wallace Park where even more family fun awaits. Entertainment will include fairground attractions, sporting arenas and vintage car displays. An unmissable highlight, glorious in all its Tartan Technicolor is The City of Lisburn Pipe Band Championships.

The parade begins at 1pm at the Island Arts Centre and flows through Lisburn City Centre, via Queen’s Road, Linenhall Street, Smithfield Street, Market Place, Market Street, Bachelors Walk to Wallace Park before returning to the Island Arts Centre.

Funds raised from this year’s Mayor’s Carnival will go to the official Mayoral charity, the Diabetic Unit at Lagan Valley Hospital.

For further information log onto islandartscentre.com, Facebook.com/ISLANDArtsCentre and Twitter.com/ISLANDartsbiz