Thousands of people lined the streets of Lisburn on Saturday, May 12 for the Mayor’s Carnival Parade.
This year’s festivities launched the council’s programme of celebrations marking the 200th anniversary of the birth of philanthropist and art collector, Sir Richard Wallace.
The sun was shining brightly as local schoolchildren, community groups, street performers, colourful carnival floats and samba bands took to the streets for the annual parade.
Young parade participants had been busy working with ISLAND Arts Centre, Streetwise Carnival Productions and ArtsEkta to choreograph their superb carnival costumes and dance routines. And the result was thrilling.
The parade floats and carnival creations depicted Sir Richard Wallace’s legacy to the city in a display of street arts and creativity. Favourites included the ‘Wallace Park’ and ‘Wallace Fountain’ floats. There was also a French flavour as ‘La Jour de Fete,’ or ‘All the Fun of the Fair’ gave a continental nod to the time Sir Richard Wallace spent living in Paris.
The multi-sensory re-enactment of the old time fair day was a big hit with the crowds. Dressed in all their finery, revellers and sideshow actors, snake charmers and fortune tellers jostled with street vendors, strongmen and petticoat-wearing dancing girls. Life-sized frames, artist palettes and paint brushes, decorative illuminated costumes, mechanical and inflatable sculptures, brought Sir Richard Wallace’s passion for art to life in colourful 3D.
There was also plenty of fun on offer in Wallace Park as people of all ages enjoyed a family fun day that boasted music, theatre performances, amusement rides and much more.
Gifted to the people of Lisburn by Sir Richard Wallace, the park thronged with a rich assortment of live entertainment and arena acts.
Bluegrass band The Poachers, Latin classical guitarists Los Dramaticos and The Diva Dolls provided the soundtrack to the afternoon.
A dedicated Kids’ Zone hosted a packed programme of activities including children’s theatre, face painting, balloon modelling and hands-on arts and craft workshops. Little ones also got closer to nature with demonstrations from the Flying Falcons birds of prey, Mantilla Environmental Education, RSPB, Conservation Volunteers and Blackberry Farm Petting Zoo.
Adrenaline junkies enjoyed Trialstar motorcycle trial riders, fairground attractions, boxing spectacles and an assault course.
A vintage car rally kept classic car enthusiasts happy, while craft lovers could discover a carefully-chosen selection of talented local artisan makers.
Finally, pooches with talent were put centre stage with the council’s Dog Show.
One of the most lively events on Northern Ireland’s cultural calendar, the Mayor’s Carnival Parade & Family Fun Day carries on Sir Richard Wallace’s philanthropic spirit.
Funds raised during the celebrations will benefit the Mayor’s charities, Habitat for Humanity and Corrymeela Community.