BY BELFAST LORD MAYOR GAVIN ROBINSON
“A photocall at the front of City Hall this morning highlighted what a landmark year this is for Belfast as our city prepares to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the granting of its first Royal charter.
“A packed programme of events, based around the City Hall, will take place over the Easter weekend with a range of family fun activities.
“It is important that we mark Belfast 400 – the moment in history when the then relatively small town of Belfast was granted many of the rights which, over the last four centuries, have helped to shape the modern city we know today.
“The King James Charter granted Belfast the right to form a corporation, the forerunner of the modern Belfast City Council, and to appoint a ‘sovereign’ – the post I am honoured to carry out as Lord Mayor.
“Events planned for Easter weekend to celebrate Belfast 400 will include:
• a photographic exhibition, taking A Journey Through Time to depict Belfast’s rich history over the last 400 years
• face painting, craft workshops and caricature drawings
• a chaotic Mad Hatter’s Tea Party
• street theatre, including walkabouts and shows
• the ever-popular Nearly True tours
• a series of talks on 400 years of Belfast’s story
• a collection of films, animations and related workshops
• live music and dance
• vintage car displays
• a fashion through the ages display by students from Belfast Metropolitan College
• a Belfast Times modern art exhibition.
“Marking 400 years of Belfast would not be complete without the inclusion of Titanic, and so top auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son once again will be returning with their world-famous display of White Star Line and Titanic-related artefacts and memorabilia – including band leader Wallace Hartley’s violin.
“In addition, there will be specially-themed evening tours of City Hall, as well as archaeological and architectural walking tours of the city centre, and special editions of the acclaimed Belfast Music and John Hewitt bus tours.
“Our beautiful Ulster Hall will host tea dances, film screenings, guided tours, special breakfast mornings, Literary Belfast themed events, reminiscence sessions, singalongs and more. There also will be a series of family events at St George’s Market on Easter Saturday.”