IRELAND's largest community festival, Féile an Phobail is set to take over the city as it moves up a gear this weekend.
Although largely based in West Belfast a number of events have also been organised for the north of the city over the course of the next week.
On Thursday, August 11 at 7pm, Ligoniel Dam will host a fishing session under the expert guidance of Tomasz from Belfast Angling Hub. No previous knowledge or experience is required. All equipment will be provided and it's priced at £3 per person.
On Friday, August 12, the Houben Centre on the Crumlin Road will host an event to celebrate International Youth Day at 1pm. Young people from across Belfast will be debating with a panel of political representatives and decision-makers on issues and matters directly affecting the lives of young people. The event will be chaired by Tori Watson, UTV journalist, in partnership with Active Communities Network
On the same day, at 7pm, the Duncairn Arts Centre will host the popular 'Scribes at the Duncairn' event. Award-winning novelist and playwright Paul McVeigh is no stranger to producing anthologies. Following the success of Belfast Stories which he co-edited, Paul has delivered once again with 'The 32', described as an ‘intimate and illuminating collection of memoires and essays that celebrate working-class voices from the island of Ireland’.
A number of contributors from the book will participate in the Scribes event, chaired by the book’s editor. Without these working-class voices, without the vital reflection of real lives or role models for working-class readers and writers, literature will be all poorer.
This event is hosted by Stories@theDuncairn, a volunteer-led, community literary project, in partnership with the Greater New Lodge Community Festival and Féile an Phobail. All are welcome to attend.
On Saturday, August 13, a Summer Fun Day will take place in the Waterworks from noon to 3pm. Bring the family along to enjoy the fun and be entertained by walkabout performers, make your own arts and crafts and end the day searching for clues with our very own treasure hunt. The event is free. For more information, contact Orla Hawkins on 02890742255.
At the same time, the Waterworks will also host an open day of traditional Irish rowing. Try your hand at rowing a range of boats built by the Boats Without Boundaries project, supported by Lough Neagh Boating Heritage Association and Meitheal Mara.
Boats will include Dunfanaghy, Tory and Gola Island curachs and Lough Neagh cots. Instruction and safety equipment provided. A rotational system will be in place for use of the boats. No booking is required, first come first served.
The Phoenix Bar on the Antrim Road will also host a number of Féile Trad Trail sessions on Saturday, August 14 (6pm to 8pm) and Sunday, August 15 (4pm to 6pm). These will feature musicians, Sinéad Quinn, Michael Gaffney and Paddy McGrandle. Other trad sessions will take place in Madden's Bar, a popular spot for North Belfast punters.
For details on all Féile An Phobail events, please see the programme online.