A big weekend of celebrations

THE countdown is on to one of the Borough’s biggest ever celebratory weekends!

Craigavon Borough Council and a host of other local organisations are putting on a fantastic weekend of events for all the family from June 1-5 – from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations to the world famous Olympic Torch run – there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

Kicking off the Diamond Jubilee celebrations in style is Craigavon Borough Council’s Museum who will be hosting a film show on Tuesday, May 29, providing a snapshot of life in Northern Ireland during the 1950s. The rarely seen footage was taken by both amateur and professional filmmakers and covers a wide range of topics, including the profound changes that both the towns and countryside underwent during the 1950s and the celebrations held to mark the Queens Coronation. With a wealth of vintage footage on show this is an evening not to be missed. Who knows, you might even see yourself on camera! The film show will be held in Lurgan Town Hall from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Admission is free.

In addition, the Museum invites local people to step back in time to experience what life was like in the 1950s with their fabulous ‘Back to the Fifties’ exhibition Lurgan Park. The display will feature an array of local photographs and artefacts from the 1950s, including Royal memorabilia to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. The exhibition will be open from May 29 to June 2 at the Lurgan Gate Lodge in Lurgan Park. The opening times are 10am to 4.30pm and admission is free. The exhibition will then move to Portadown Town Hall from June 4-8, 10am to 4.30pm.

Following this the Lurgan Show Committee have organised a fantastic free Peter Corry Concert in Lurgan Park on Friday, June 1. NI’s premier singer Peter Corry will sing all the favourites from the shows and take you on a musical roller coaster ride of emotion – one definitely not to be missed! The fun starts in the Park at 7pm and will be finished off with a Craigavon Borough Council fireworks display lighting up the night after the concert.

On Saturday, June 2, the Lurgan Show Committee have also organised a spectacular Lurgan Show to celebrate this their centenary year. With all your favourites and much more, it will be a great day out for young and old. An entrance fee will apply – come along and join in the fun!

On Sunday, June 3, the Council is hosting a Jubilee Thanksgiving Service in the Civic Centre at 8.15pm where the public will have an opportunity to give thanks for the Queen’s 60 years on the throne. It will be conducted by the Rev Geoff Wilson from Shankill Parish Church and Guest Preacher is Rev Stafford Carson from 1st Portadown Presbyterian Church. Places are on a “first come first served” basis and everyone is welcome.

On Monday, June 4, the fun moves to Portadown with the 1950s Big Dance and Tea Party on the Plaza to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee. With compere George Jones and Swingabella the sounds of the 50s will bring the Plaza to life! Entertainment starts from 12noon to 3pm with face painting, balloon modelling and glitter artist to keep all your young ones entertained. In addition, the beacon on the edge of Craigavon Lakes will be lit on the evening of Monday, June 4, in line with the 2,600 Beacons throughout the UK, Channel Islands, Isle of Man along with the Commonwealth and UK Overseas Territories to celebrate Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Rounding off the weekend of celebrations is the Olympic Torch Relay in Portadown on Tuesday, June 5. A massive day of sporting celebrations has been planned by Council in conjunction with a wide range of sporting clubs to mark the arrival of the iconic Olympic Torch in Portadown. With Gaelic games, football displays, tennis come and try sessions, samba dancing, Craigavon Cowboys American Football Activities, and Portadown Rugby Club Fun Day with Lurgan Tigers to name but a few it will be a great day out for all the family. The Celebrations make way for the finale event – the Olympic Torch arriving in Portadown from 4.39pm, the torch will be proudly carried and displayed throughout the main streets of the town and the relay will shine a spotlight on the people and places of Craigavon and demonstrate that the Olympic Spirit is alive and well within the area.

Phew – what a weekend!