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Belfast Mela

Bank Holiday Entertainment in Northern Ireland

There is plenty going on around Northern Ireland this Bank Holiday weekend to keep the whole family entertained.  Here are just some of our top picks.

sheeprace_2x1-748x374Come along to Streamvale Farm Sheep Race, on the outskirts of Belfast near Dundonald, (1 July - 31 August) and cheer on your favourite spring lamb and enjoy the rest of the hub of activities Streamvale Open Farm has to offer. 

Are you an outdoor and nature enthusiast? then why not explore nature and experience a camping trip like no other at the Big Wild Campout (23- 24 August) at Ulster American Folk Park, in Omagh, County Tyrone.  There will be a wide range of activities from nature trails, to stargazing and enchanting stories around the campfire.

For a fun filled family day out come along to Ireland's oldest traditional market fair - Auld Lammas Fair, (25 -26 August) in Ballycastle, County Antrim where there will be two days of  amusements and street entertainment with competitions to add to the atmosphere in this beautiful seaside resort of Ballycastle.

Carrick castle at nightOn Bank Holiday Monday (25 August) come along to Carrickfergus Castle and have a go at shooting the longbow, the ultimate distance weapon of the Middle Ages, alongside the skilled men and women of the15th century.

For all budding Princesses and Pirates, (24 - 25 August) discover the Springhill treasure trail at Springhill House in Moneymore, County Londonderry and enjoy lots of sparkling and swash buckling games and crafts. 

For a fun-packed family weekend, take a trip to Jordanstown Loughshore Park in Newtownabbey on the shores of Belfast Lough at the Shoreline Festival  (23 - 25 August) which will host a wide range of events to include concerts, family fun-zone, fireworks and much more. 

Calling all seafood lovers! Take a trip to Kilkeel and visit the International Fishfest in Kilkeel, County Down (22 - 25 August). Enjoy the seafood buffet, fresh fish stalls, children’s entertainment, and lots more fun.

Mela 2014There are plenty of cultural events to enjoy over the Bank Holiday weekend.  Enjoy a celebration of Fermanagh's traditions at the Summer of Cultures Family Fun Day at Enniskillen Castle Museums, County Fermanagh (25 August). This event includes workshops, arts & crafts, music and other fun family entertainment. 

Come explore the wonders of the world at Ireland's largest festival of world cultures - Belfast Mela  (24 August) returns to Botanic Gardens in Belfast, now in its eighth year, will be jam-packed with a show stopping celebration featuring music, dance, street theatre, circus and carnival from around the world, suitable for the whole family.  New for 2014 will be an excitng Fantasy Forest for children

Celebrate East Belfast's local creative talent at EastSide Arts Festival (21 - 25 August) including writers, artists, musicans and film makers.  The festival will showcase a varied arts programme at various venues in the East Belfast area.  There will be something for everyone with some of the performers to include Van Morrison, Sam McCready, Eric Bell and Brian Keenan. 


HIldenFor all music & gig lovers there are are plenty of concerts and music festivals for all the family to enjoy.  For the big gig goers, one of the hottest summer festivals - namely Tennent's Vital comes to Boucher Road Playing Fields in Belfast (21 - 24 August).  Some of the big name acts include The Killers, Bastille, David Guetta and Steve Angello. 

A favourite for all lovers of local craft beer and music, the Hilden Beer and Music Festival  in Lisburn, (22 - 24 August) is a celebration of the best beers in the UK and Ireland and our finest local musical talent. Hilden Brewery's unique Georgian courtyard will be packed to the brim with an outdoor gourmet kitchen, more beer than you can shake a stick at and live music in what feels like the most intimate musical venue in Ireland.

For all the family to enjoy come along to Fiddler's Green Festival  (21 - 27 August) at Rostrevor, County Down.
There will be hundreds of varied events which caters for music lovers and families or for those who come just to soak up the scenery, the friendliness and the free outdoor music and culture. 

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Places To Visit

The Auld Lammas Fair 2014, Ballycastle

Ireland's oldest traditional market fair. Its exact origin is uncertain, but one theory is that it began as a result of the occupation of the area around Ballycastle by the MacDonnells of the Isles in the early part of the sixteenth century.

Sunflowerfest 2014, Hillsborough

Sunflowerfest is a 4-day festival of music and arts.

Jazz Sunday at Crom, Newtownbutler, Enniskillen

Bring along a picnic and rug as you join us for a relaxing afternoon of local jazz by the shores of Lough Erne

Tennent's Vital 2014, Belfast

Tennent's Vital festival is back for 2014.  Returning to Boucher Road Playing Fields with big name acts on 21 and 24 August, the festival will be one of the biggest events of the year.

Summer of Cultures Family Fun Day, Enniskillen

An afternoon of fun and culture for all the family. Enjoy a celebration of Fermanagh's traditions with performances, food and craft, workshops, arts & crafts, music and other fun family entertainment.

Hilden Beer and Music Festival 2014, Lisburn

A favourite for all lovers of beer and music, the Hilden Beer and Music Festival is a celebration of the best beers in the UK and Ireland and our finest local musical talent.

Fun on the Farm, Newtownards

A family fun day for charity held on our farm.

Millisle Sandsculpture Extravaganza,

A great family day out building sand sculptures and castles under the watchful eye of our sand sculpture expert Tony Hawkins.

Season's End in the Dunes, Portstewart

As the herbal and floral displays finish for the summer join our ranger for a leisurely and informative ramble through the sand dunes.

Waterways Ireland Belleek Water Festival, Belleek, Enniskillen

Belleek Water Festival will take place Fri 22 - Mon 25 August - everyone welcome & sometime for all the family to enjoy.

Bank Holiday Monday at Carrickfergus Castle, Carrickfergus

Have-a-go Archery at Carrickfergus Castle this Bank holiday Monday. Try your hand at shooting the longbow, the ultimate distance weapon of the Middle Ages.

Fiddler's Green Festival, Rostrevor, Newry

The Fiddler’s Green Festival is based in the scenic village of Rostrevor and is more than just a musical festival it is an International Music Festival.

Open House Bangor Festival 2014, Bangor

A music based festival featuring headline concerts, informal music sessions, comedy, poetry, walking tours, exhibitions throughout the month of August in various venues throughout Bangor. 

Belfast Mela 2014, Belfast

The Mela returns to Botanic Gardens on the 24th August 2014 from 12pm-6pm for the eighth year of world music, dance, food, fashion and fun!

Summer Sundays in Ward Park, Bangor

An eclectic mix of live music in the beautiful surrounds of Ward Park set in Bangor Town Centre. 

Kicking off this year on Sunday, 6 July, then running every Sunday for the whole of July and August,  this year's programme features an eclectic ...

Féile An Droichead 2014, Belfast

File An Droichead is a four-day festival celebration of Irish language and traditional music.  With a programme of Concerts, sessions, workshops and family events the festival is a showcase the best of local and international talent.

The International Fishfest, Kilkeel, Newry

Calling Seafood Lovers Everywhere.

Princesses and Pirates, Moneymore, Magherafelt

Lots of sparkle and swords are expected at Springhill over the Bank Holiday weekend. Budding Princesses and Pirates can discover the Springhill treasure trail and enjoy lots of sparkling and swash-buckling games and crafts.

Shoreline Festival, Newtownabbey

Family fun and sporting activities, amusements, music concerts - these are as follows:

23 August - Kings of Leon Tribute
24 August - Garth Brooks Tribute
25 August - Classics in the Park in association with NI Opera

Each day from 1pm-10pm

Back to School Madness, Newtownabbey

Come along to Belfast Zoo and enjoy family activities that include:

• face painting
• animal feeding times
• a bouncy castle
• Mr Hullabaloo's interactive theatre

10.30am - 4.30pm

EastSide Arts Festival, Belfast

EastSide Arts Festival will take place Thursday 21st- Monday 25th August 2014.

The aim of the Festival is to celebrate the incredible creative talent; writers, artists, musicians and film- makers, both of the past and present, that have come ...

Fairy Tales Papercraft at W5 Lite, Banbridge

Come along and enjoy a FREE activity in unit 55 every weekend from the 12 July to the 31 August

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