Derry has just kicked off its year as the UK’s first City of Culture. The city in Northern Ireland’s far northwest is traditionally divided between nationalists and unionists, but both sides came together to win this prestigious honor against Birmingham, Sheffield, and Norwich.
Sharon O’Connor, Derry City Council Chief Executive, said, “It is just going to be a roller coaster ride of cultural delights for this special City of Culture.” Highlights of 140 high calibre line ups, include: A new production by American playwright Sam Shepherd, three new dramas from the Field Day Theatre Company, and the return of Colmcille River, designed by Frank Cottrell Boyce-who scripted the opening ceremony for the London Olympics. All of these will be massive crowd enticements. Not to mention, Britain’s Royal Ballet and the All-Ireland Fleadh. It truly will be one of the world’s largest festivals of Irish culture. What better year for Derry to unfold the City of Culture than the year of The Gathering!
There is definitely a feel good factor in the air, as Derry expects over 1,000,000 visitors this year and was also named one of the ten must see cities of 2013 by Lonely Planet.
Don’t pass this City of Culture up on your next vacation to Ireland. Rich in history, this city something for everyone!