The City of Lisburn & Castlereagh’s 200th Birthday Bash Carnival Celebrations for Sir Richard Wallace a Huge Success
May 15, 2018
The sun shone on thousands of carnival revellers who packed the streets of Lisburn today for The City of Lisburn & Castlereagh Mayor’s Carnival Parade & Family Fun Day. This year’s festivities launched the 200th Birthday celebrations of philanthropist and art collector, Sir Richard Wallace.
Mayor’s Carnival Parade
A highlight of the festivities was Mayor’s Carnival Parade. A noisy, vibrant procession of fantastical carnival floats, carnival characters and performers alongside hundreds of the city’s school children and community groups, entertained crowds of onlookers.
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. The result was thrilling.
The parade’s floats and carnival creations depicted Sir Richard Wallace’s legacy to the city in an unrivalled display of street arts and creativity. Favourites included the ‘Wallace Park’ and ‘Wallace Fountain’ floats. There was also a French flavour.
'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.
This 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 petticoated 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.
Family Fun Day, Wallace Park
Carrying on the Carnival’s celebrations was a Family Fun Day, in Wallace Park.
Gifted to the people of Lisburn & Castlereagh 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 a 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.
Besides being one of the most, lively events on Northern Ireland’s cultural calendar, the Mayor’s Carnival Parade & Family Fun Day is carrying on the Sir Richard Wallace’s Philanthropic Spirit. Funds raised from the celebrations will benefit Mayoral Charities, Habitat for Humanity and Corrymeela Community.