In association with Choice Rowallane and Slieve Croob District Electoral Areas, The Executive Office, T:Buc, Housing for all and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive recently held a ground-breaking multi-cultural family friendly celebration on The Square Ballynahinch attracting hundreds of attendees.
The event was held to help create community cohesion and promote acceptance and understanding of other cultures. In addition to music from all over the world, there were dancers entertaining the crowd, face painting, exotic petting farm, stilt walkers, circus skills, cuisine from various regions of the globe, Men’s Shed and the PSNI which encouraged participation by those present. The African drumming proved very popular with people of all ages enjoying taking part and learning how to play the drums.
It was clear from the feedback received during the event that everyone thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience which had something for everyone irrespective of age or culture. Many families stated that they had intended to call at the event for half an hour but because of the diverse range of activities and entertainment provided they had remained until it closed at 4.00 p.m. People say the camera doesn’t lie and it is clear from the photographs of the event that fun was had by all.
Speaking at the event the Council Vice-Chairman, Councillor Terry Andrews said “I have to say Newry, Mourne and Down District Council are delighted to be part of this exciting event to celebrate local and ethnic diversity. Increasingly we live in a more diverse community and it is important that we learn from each other and create safe, vibrant communities for the future. Today’s event allows new residents to meet their neighbours, begin friendships, sample new tastes and experiences and gain a sense of pride in their inclusive community. I look forward to similar events taking place in the future”.
Sharon Hunt, Community Support Officer, Choice. “Building strong and resilient communities is just as important to Choice as building great homes. That’s why, through the Together Building a United Community Strategy, we are delighted to host this wonderful festival, which has been an enormous success. We would like to thank all our partners, tenants and community members who took part in the festival, we have been overwhelmed by the support.”