BELFAST City Council is preparing to mark the 400th anniversary of the granting of the city`s first Royal charter, by King James I, on April 27.
A fusion of family-friendly fun will take place on the lawns of the iconic City Hall, with a wide range of free activities planned.
These include films, exhibitions, tours and family entertainment.
`Belfast BIG 400` will run from 11am – 5pm on Saturday April 27th, and will include:
• traders from St George`s Market setting up stalls on the lawn of City Hall, selling a range of produce including artisan foods, antiques and collectables, crafts, jewellery and more;
• live musical performances;
• the `RampRage Extreme Sports Crew`, featuring freestyle skaters showcasing their tricks and skills;
• an urban art demonstration, with one of Northern Ireland`s leading urban artists, Kev Largey, creating a piece of urban art on the side of the extreme sports skate ramp;
• a special screening of `The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe`, based on the best-selling book by Belfast-born author CS Lewis, on the Big Screen;
• rare screenings of films from BBC NI`s community archive; and
• face painters, arts and crafts and street entertainers.
Inside City Hall, there will be the ongoing Belfast 400 photographic exhibition, taking you on `A Journey through Time` as it traces the tale of Belfast`s landscape as it grew from boggy river crossing to famous city.
There will also be the ever-popular tours of City Hall, which will be given a dramatic twist as they transport visitors back to the Belfast of 400 years ago: these tours are free but booking is essential – to book call 028 9027 0456 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
There also will be a number of free walking tours, taking in 400 years of Belfast`s urban development, and the `Hidden History` beneath the city`s streets.
Again, these tours are free but tickets are required, and these can be obtained from the Belfast Welcome Centre in Donegall Place (028 9024 6609).
Said Lord Mayor Gavin Robinson commented: “This is another truly landmark year for our city, marking as it does 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 a appoint a `sovereign` – the post now known as Lord Mayor today – as well as many other rights, including the right to hold markets.
“It is important that, when we mark the anniversary of the granting of the Charter, we do so in an inclusive manner and for all the people of Belfast and visitors to enjoy, and in a way which looks to our continued and future development as well as those we have enjoyed in the past.”
For full information on the `Belfast BIG 400` events, visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/events