Gathering plans varied line up for 22nd anniversary

Fri 29 Aug 2014 - Sun 06 Sept 2014

The 22nd Gathering will highlight the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and also the 75th anniversary of the Second World War. The mobilsation order for the latter was signed by Ballycarry man General James Steele.

The World Wars will be the theme of a history bus tour around the area, scheduled for Wednesday, September 3, during which the stories of some of those from the area who served will be recounted. The bus will also include sites at Whitehead and Larne and included will be a free refreshment afterwards in Millars at Main Street.

The tour is one of a number of events taking place between August 29 and September 5, including a pipe band concert in the new Ballycarry amphitheatre at the Fairhill, an Ulster Scots cookery night, a photographic exhibition, historical talks, launch of an exhibition on Ballycarry and the First World War and a coffee morning.

The main Gathering Day will be on Saturday, September 6th, and this year the organisers plan a musical line up which includes three major groups - Stonewall, Risin’ Stour and the Broken String Band, the latter making their first appearance at the festival.

There will also be pipe and accordion bands, Scottish dancing displays, fifing and drumming, performances by other musical groups and re-enactors including a First World War bell tent, and medieval Scots re-enactors. Artists from Counties Antrim, Down and Armagh will be among those taking part.

This year the vintage vehicle run will leave the village and travel to Eden before coming back to Ballycarry along Tongue Loanen, the first time that the vehicles have completed as wide a circuit.

“A lot of effort has gone into this year’s programme, which we are very excited about,” said Festival Director Dr. David Hume, “There are still some confirmations but already this year’s event is looking very good indeed,”

“The Committee has agreed to some changes in relation to the locations of events and we are trying to centralise as much as possible on the Fairhill, to make the logistics of the day easier. We will also have Ballycarry Fair and the official teas of the event in the community centre, so it all makes sense to keep everything as tight as possible,”

“The Gathering has grown over the years and we traditionally welcome visitors from different parts of the world, so hopefully this year will be no exception. The wealth of musical talent will be a highlight for many, while the military and vintage vehicles also draw considerable attention and we have altered the route and format of our townland banner parade to hopefully add even more interest,”

The Festival Director acknowledged the support of the Ulster Scots Agency, which is the main funder for the event, with additional support from Larne Borough Council, Forever Living Products, the Friends of the Broadisland Gathering group and local businesses.

Further information on the Gathering will be posted on the Ballycarry Community Association website and on the Friends of Broadisland Gathering facebook site.

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