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Ulster-Scots at the NI Countryside Festival

29 May 2012

On Saturday 26th and Sunday 27th May 2012, the Ulster-Scots Agency attended the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival at Moira Demesne, Moira, Co Armagh. The two-day festival was a huge success with over 18,000 visitors in attendance.

The Ulster-Scots Agency added to the programme of entertainment over the two days with a selection of musicians performing and an Ulster-Scots cookery demonstration inside the Ulster-Scots marquee.


On Saturday 26th May between 11am and 4pm, traditional Ulster-Scots group Family Folk entertained tens of thousands of visitors with a selection of traditional songs and ballads.  The musicians who are from Ballywalter and Millisle, Co. Down thoroughly enjoyed performing at the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival; their first time experience of working with the Agency at the annual Moira event. 


On Sunday 27th May The Broken String Band performed traditional Appalachian music from the event’s Main Stage from 11am and then relocated to perform from inside the Ulster-Scots Agency marquee from 1pm onwards.  Members of the Broken String Band received a very warm welcome from the Sunday visitors, which included some special visitors from Wisconsin, USA.  Milwaukee Irish Fest President, Donna Brady and Directors, Colleen Kennedy and Stuart Oliver accepted an invitation from Director of Corporate Services, Michael McCullough to accompany him to the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival on Sunday.  All three visitors expressed how impressed they were by the event and congratulated the festival organisers on their success.  The three American visitors thoroughly enjoyed The Broken String Band and witnessed the members having a bit of crack with the audience; which added to the enjoyment of their performance.


An Ulster-Scots cookery demonstration was also held within the Ulster-Scots marquee - freshly made Potato and Soda Bread was available for visitors to sample over the two days.  Variations of Soda included plain, fruit and treacle; all proved to be very popular with the visitors.


A big thank you to the organisers of the Northern Ireland Countryside Festival and to all those who helped in showcasing our cultural and heritage traditions in Moira - Family Folk, The Broken String Band and to the cookery demonstration team, Karen and Alan; all in all the event was a huge success for the Ulster-Scots Agency!