Gathering gears up for 2014 celebration

Magheramorne Silver Band marching in the Broadisland Gathering. INLT 36-376-PR
Magheramorne Silver Band marching in the Broadisland Gathering. INLT 36-376-PR

The 2014 Broadisland Gathering in Ballycarry is to have a wartime theme to mark two notable military anniversaries.

The twenty-second Gathering will highlight the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War and the 75th anniversary of the Second World War. The mobilsation order for the latter was signed by Ballycarry man General James Steele.

The World Wars will be the theme of a history bus tour around the area on Wednesday September 3, which will recount the stories of people from the area who served. Also included will be sites at Whitehead and Larne and a free refreshment afterwards in Millars at Main Street.

The tour is one of a number of events taking place between August 29 and September 5. These include a pipe band concert in the new Ballycarry amphitheatre at Fairhill, an Ulster Scots cookery night, a photographic exhibition, historical talks, the launch of an exhibition on Ballycarry and the First World War and a coffee morning.

The main Gathering day will be on Saturday, September 6. This year’s musical line-up includes three major groups-Stonewall, Risin’ Stour and the Broken String Band.

There will also be pipe and accordion bands, Scottish dancing displays, fifing and drumming, performances by other musical groups and re-enactors including a First World War bell tent and medieval Scots. Artists from Counties Antrim, Down and Armagh will participate.

This year the vintage vehicle run will leave the village and travel to Eden before returning to Ballycarry along Tongue Loanen.

Festival Director Dr David Hume said: “A lot of effort has gone into this year’s programme, which we are very excited about.

“The Gathering has grown over the years and we traditionally welcome visitors from different parts of the world, so hopefully this year will be no exception.

“The wealth of musical talent will be a highlight for many, while the military and vintage vehicles also draw considerable attention and we have altered the route and format of our townland banner parade to hopefully add even more interest.”

Dr Hume acknowledged the support of the Ulster Scots Agency, the main funder, with additional support from Larne Borough Council, Forever Living Products, the Friends of the Broadisland Gathering group and local businesses.

For more information visit Ballycarry Community Association’s website and the Friends of Broadisland Gathering Facebook page.