Concert to celebrate royal status

It has been announced that a music concert will be held next year to mark Royal status being awarded to Hillsborough village.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 10:33 am

It’s not yet known which star-studded musicians will line-up for the concert but it’s understood that the event will take place before March 2022.

Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, which will host the concert, will spend up to £180,000 on the event after a successful application to Tourism Northern Ireland.

The concert, which is expected to be ticketed, will mark the Co Down village being one of four places in the UK to be awarded royal status.

The village will become “Royal Hillsborough” later this year following an application from the local authority.

Hillsborough is home to the Queen’s official residence of Hillsborough Castle, attracting thousands of visitors from across the UK and the world each year.

LCCC’s chief executive David Burns told members that officers would also explore how the local authority maximises opportunities for the event for local businesses, hotels and guest houses.

Meanwhile, other scheduled events were also put together by the council’s Royal Hillsborough Working Group, the Northern Ireland Office and historic royal palaces and community groups.

The first event, which will take place on October 22, will see the Mayor of Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council host a 120-person civic dinner.

Organisers also confirmed that the farmers’ market will return to the

Dark Walk on October 23, complete with street food vendors and other festivities.

A lantern parade will also leave Downshire Primary School in the evening of the day and make its way to Hillsborough Forest.

It’s hoped that the lanterns will form a 2.5km illuminated footpath around Hillsborough lake as the parade arrives in the forest where fireworks will also take place.

The council said the illuminated footpath allows for families to view the fireworks from many vantage points throughout the forest in a safe and socially distant way.

The event, which will also be ticketed, will be offered to residents of Hillsborough and the Downshire DEA’s in the first instance.

Meanwhile, the celebrations will continue through the upcoming Christmas period with focus on the Festival of Lights at Hillsborough Castle from December 3 to January 2.

In tandem with this, it is hoped that the council will run its popular Christmas Market during the month.

Meanwhile, the report also outlined that in March 2022 a community fun day will be held in Hillsborough Castle grounds.

The report says the event will be “a fun, free event for Hillsborough residents aimed at people of all ages and abilities. The event will be developed in partnership with local community groups”.

Further detail of the concert and other events, including the granting of the Letters Patent is expected to be brought before the council by the end of the year.