THE 2004 European Pipe Band Championships come to Lisburn City on Saturday.
Around 131 bands and over 4000 competitors along with 10,000 visitors are expected to enjoy this unique event held in the city for the first time.
The British Championships were held in Lisburn in 1999 with 114 bands but the European promises to be the largest assembly of pipe bands ever held in Ireland.
Alongside the main championships, there will be a Highland dancing competition when 40 dancers will vie for the top prizes in the dance categories.
There will also be trade stalls, displays and
food and beverage outlets, as well as a full programme of family
entertainment including a Fun Fair and numerous sideshows of
children's activities. Entrance to the championships
will be free and there will be ample packing space for everyone. The starting time is 10 o'clock.
And in case you do happen to miss this spectacular event, Contest Secretary Mervyn Herron, along with the BBC television will be recording two 40 minute programmes to be shown later in the Autumn.
The Mayor of North Down Alderman Valerie Kinghan, Chieftain of the Day, welcomed the pipe band championships to Bangor last Saturday.
In what was a
colourful days outing for all the family, the Mayor said that the
tremendous sense of friendly
rivalry among the competing bands made these championships one of the firm favourites in the Council's event programme.
The Pipe Bands have been going to Bangor for 47 years, and it is hoped the council in conjunction with the RSPBA will be able to arrange a major championship in the town to commemorate the 50th anniversary in 2007.
In spite of showery weather thousands crowded the seaside town to enjoy the Dragon Boat racing, beach volleyball, HMS Bangor, and all the entertainment arranged by the North Down Borough Council.
In the Grade 1 championship there were only 2 competing bands and Ballycoan with Pipe Major Alfie Rea took top honours over Ravara and also won the best drum corps and best bass section.
Cullybackey defeated the All Ireland champions Ballinderry Bridge to take 1st place in Grade 2. Finvoy were the winners in 3A with Seven Towers in 3B, Annsborough in 4A and McNeillstown in 413.
It was a good result for Leapoughs who competed for the first time in two years when they took 4th place in Grade 3B.
The North West Pipe Band Championships will take place in Portrush on Friday 6th August and Saturday 7th August.
The RSPBA (NIB) Youth in Action will commence at 2.30pm on Friday 6th with the solo drumming and piping events for the under 12's, 14's and 16's in Kerr Street. There will also be a display by some of the Novice and Junior Drum Major's as well as highland dancing.
On Friday evening at 7.00pm Ballydonaghy Pipe band (both grades) will parade from the Green, opposite the Comfort Hotel, to the Bandstand outside Barry's amusements. They will be accompanied by some of the drum majors and other artists will be joining the band at this stage.
At 8.00pm the RSPBA (NIB) in conjunction with the NI Piping Society will present an Invitational Recital competition in the Catering College Coleraine Road Portrush.
Then on the Saturday the main event of the pipe band championships will commence at 12 o'clock with an entry of 60 bands competing for the North West championship titles.
Adjudicators for piping will be Gordon Laurie David McConnell Dixie Ingram John Moles and for drumming Mark Wilson and Jim Baxter.
Grade 4B. 1st. McNeillstown (also best drums and best bass) 2nd. Thiepval Mem. Convoy. 3rd.Letterkenny. (also M&D) 4th.Wm. Kerr Mem.
Grade 4A. 1st. Annsborough (also best bass). 2nd. Gortaclare, 3rd.Battlehill (also M&D) 4th.Queen Elizabeth. Best Drums, Colmcille.
Grade 3B. 1st. Seven Towers (also best drums and best bass) 2nd. Marlacoo (also M&D) 3rd.Altnaveigh. 4th.Leapoughs.
Grade 3A. 1st. Finvoy 2nd. Bready, 3rd.Quinn (also M&D) 4th.Matt Boyd Mem. Best Drums and Best Bass - Banbridge.
Grade 2. 1st. Cullybackey (also M&D) 2nd. Ballinderry Bridge. 3rd.Lord Edwards Own (also best drums and best bass) 4th.Killeen.
Grade 1. 1st. Ballycoan (also best drums and best bass) 2nd. Ravara (also M&D).
Novice Drum Majors. 1st.Natasha Cherry. 2nd.Craig Clydesdale. 3rd.Lorna Robinson. 4th.Gary Scanlon. 5th.Dale Fisher.
Junior. 1st. Elizabeth Sloan. 2nd.Laura Jane Lawson. 3rd.Caroline Clydesdale. 4th.Linzi Hamilton. 5th.Samanatha Gordon.
Juvenile. 1st. Donna Gillespie. 2nd.Ian Scott. 3rd.Alicia Dickson. 4th.Ryan Ferry. 5th.Laura McComb.
Senior. 1st. Ian Young. 2nd.Paula Braiden. 3rd.Kathy Megarry. 4th.Brian Wilson. 5th.Paul Spence.