Events and Festivals during Giro
The Giro d'Italia Big Start will soon be coming to our shores so get your pink on and join in the buzz and excitement of this prestigious sporting event.
There will be a range of special Giro-themed events and festivals taking place all along the route – below is just a flavour of what's in store, plus other excting events taking place around the time.
Belfast will host a major Giro Get on yer bike! festival from 3 - 11 May with attractions for all the family to enjoy. The eight-day Giro festival will be an action packed celebration of Belfast being chosen as the starting point for the Giro d’Italia and will include food, fashion, art, architecture, music and performance with cycling and Italian themed fun for all ages across the city.
Grown-ups will enjoy the Italian-themed movie season at the Queen's Film Theatre while children will love the fun activities which includes Get on yer bike! Family cycling at Barnett's Demesne on 3 - 4 May. There are also family movies at the Ulster Hall, plus cycling-themed street theatre and performances as part of the always-popular Festival of Fools (3 - 5 May). The whole family can head along to the 'Get on yer bike! Hub at Cathedral Gardens and Writers' Square (8 - 10 May) which will celebrate all things cycle-related through talks, maintenance workshops, have a go sessions and crafty workshops. The Ulster Museum is entering into the festival spirit offering an insight into one of cycling’s greatest innovations and an opportunity to explore this revolution through art with the John Boyd Dunlop bicycle on display from 28 April. The Italian capital is on film at the QFT with screenings of a host of films including Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn.
The fellow start city of Armagh will also host a full programme of events at the Giro d'Italia Big Start Festival, Armagh on Saturday 10 May to celebrate the Giro's visit the following day. There will be a pre-race celebrations takeing place across the weekend as the best of Armagh meets Italy in a fusion of music, food, and culture with something for all ages and interests. These will include a speciality Italian/Armagh market, and family entertainment. The city's fascinating, historic buildings opening their doors for the day and culminating in an evening Concert on the Mall which will feature DJ Chill, local band The Hanna Sisters a Pink Tribute act, singers from NI Opera and with the finishing headline act Flash Harry. The evening will end with Armagh's skyline turning pink as a dazzling fireworks display forms the grand finale. There will also be a host of other activity taking place throughout the weekend including RampRage Extreme Sports on the Mall entertaining the crowds with freestyle BMX expression sessions and Orchard County Stage 3 Supportive which is a leisurely cycle to follow the Armagh stage routes, 70 miles in total.
Carrickfergus Benvenuto the Giro on 10 May will have a host of entertainment for all the family including live music, street entertainers, face painting, balloon modelling and children's cycling proficiency course.
Larne will turn pink for 12 days in the run up to the Giro d'Italia. The Broadway Bandstand in Larne will be turned into an Italian Piazza in the lead up to the Giro d’Italia and will play host to Pop Up Pop In Pink Outdoor Opera on 2 May. Carnevale in Larne town centre on 3 May from 2pm - 4pm promises a festival atmosphere with members of the public being encouraged to take part in a fancy dress bicycle competition at Broadway Bandstand. Entertainment includes live music and performers as well as bicycle check-ups. The Illumination Bike Ride on 3 May at 8pm will go along a special route around the town which will be lit up with Giro inspired projections, lighting and installations. On Race Day on 10 May, Larne Market Yard will be turned into Little Italy with a special Italian Market. There will be uni-cycling and BMX displays at Broadway as well as food demonstrations, live music, circus performers and car displays.
The Cushendall Funday from 12pm on May 10, as part of Moyle District Council's Giro celebrations, will have bouncy castles on the Green between the RNLI Station and the Boat Club, kids fun cycle events and Giro Brunch at the Lifeboat car park, a Yacht Race in Red Bay and a host of festival entertainment in Cushendall Village from 2pm – 7pm including Irish music, Irish dancing, a food fest and pink street party.
Also in the Moyle area, there will be a Ballycastle Funday on May 10 from 11am onwards with a big screen showing the Giro d’Italia at Ballycastle Seafront, family fun with balloon modelling, face painting, walkabout characters a climbing wall, an ABBA Tribute Band and a DJ providing music and live entertainment. That evening there will be live music at The Diamond.
Enjoy a taste of Italy in Ballymoney from 2 – 10 May when the town will be decked out in pink with art, music, coupled with some family fun and Italian themed menus in local cafes and restaurants.
The Sunset Port to Port Pedal on 9 May is a family cycling event with an Italian theme. Enjoy a three mile pink fancy dress cycle ride along the stunning North Coast, leaving Harbour Hill in Portstewart at 7pm to West Bay Portrush. The ride out from Harbour Hill Portstewart will take the dedicated Sustrans route to West Bay Portrush where cyclist can break to enjoy an evening of pedal powered festivities including; Trialstar cycle stunt show, live music with 'Rightly On', meet and greet with Mario & Luigi, pedal powered smoothie makers, music makers and Spin Art, face painting and much more.
Newry and Mourne District Council in association with community groups in Newtownhamilton, Belleek, Lislea and Forkhill, and the proprieters of the Mountain House and Forge Bar, have arranged a programme of fun activities to keep the whole family entertained at the various spectating areas. Find out more.
See below for more events taking place during Giro.