Top award for Dalriada festival

GLENARM’S Dalriada Festival has been crowned the friendliest event of the year in a UK-wide outdoor events competition.

The 2011 festival - a celebration of sport, music and fine food - was the only Northern Ireland-based event to scoop an accolade at the prestigious National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA) Awards in Birmingham.

Coast Road Councillor Maureen Morrow congratulated the organisers on the “great achievement”, and her colleague Alderman Roy Beggs said: “We should be proud to be associated with this event. It is good news for the borough and a boost for Northern Ireland as a whole.”

The council recently agreed, for the second year running, to contribute £25,000 towards the cost of organising the festival.

NOEA is one of the UK’s leading outdoor trade associations and aims to enhance professionalism in the industry through education, networking, lobbying, advice and creating business opportunities.

This year’s Dalriada Festival, which will take place on Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14, will feature performances from pop star Ronan Keating, as well as special guest Sharon Corr.