Crowds Sail into Larne For Another Successful Friends Goodwill Festival

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This weekend saw the return of the Friends Goodwill Music Festival in Larne which was blessed with two days of sunshine, arts, food and music.

The two day event has been hailed a success after hundreds of festivalgoers from across the borough turned out to enjoy all the activities.

The fantastic line-up of artists and bands performed a wide range of music and dance which got the audience up on their feet.

The festival marked the anniversary of the departure of the Friends’ Goodwill ship from Larne to America back in 1717. The voyage is believed to have been the first emigrant specific ship from Ulster to cross the Atlantic in the 18th century.

There was a brilliant range of activities for everybody to enjoy, including a superb ceilidh, pipe band performance, food heritage demos, drumming workshop from a world champion, street theatre, great food, and kids’ activities.

The main venue, the Market Yard on Station Road, saw plenty of moves from punters dancing along to tunes from The Logues, Booka Brass, Pilgrim St, Runabay, Paul Casey, Stonewall, Pure Blarney, the Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band, Eilidh Patterson and Lee Lawson.

Mayor Paul Reid said, “It was great to see so many people enjoying themselves throughout the weekend, with so much to offer from the petting farm to different genres of music to cookery demonstrations, food stalls and plenty of free activities, there was something for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s wonderful to see the youngsters getting involved and taking part in the Festival from the Music Yard and the Irish dancers and Ulster Scots Juvenile Pipe Band really brought it to life. It has been a fantastic two day festival, thanks to everyone who turned out, took part, and the council staff who made it possible.”

The Mayor was joined by invited dignitaries for a commemorative service at the Friends Goodwill monument in Curran Park on Sunday afternoon to mark the anniversary and reflect upon the voyage of the Friends Goodwill ship.