Embrace the beginning of the festive season with Armagh’s Georgian Festival

Armagh’s award-winning Georgian spectacular is back in the Cathedral City next month when Armagh Georgian Festival 2023 returns with a freshly packed programme of unique and charming events and activities designed to kick off the festive celebrations whilst showcasing the city’s iconic architecture, historic landmarks and its unrivalled beauty in an atmosphere charged with new thrills and excitement.
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Celebrating its rich history and heritage, Armagh’s Georgian Festival offers one of the best festive weekends in Northern Ireland attracting national and international visitors. This year’s events run from Thursday 23 November through to Sunday 26 November encompassing the highlight of the weekend, Georgian Day on Saturday 25 November.

Lord Mayor of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council, Margaret Tinsley, said: “Armagh Georgian Festival is a series of unique experiences which celebrate the many different aspects of Georgian Armagh including buildings, history and heritage, through an exciting, varied and fun programme of festive events.

“Enjoy trotting along the tree-lined Georgian Mall in a horse and carriage ride or browse around the Georgian artisan market, enjoying crafts, food and gifts for all ages. Put on your hat and gloves and enjoy one of a selection of guided outdoor walking tours that recount the tales of this era. Be sure to enjoy the wondrous festival lights, street entertainment, music, living history characters, children’s entertainment and a special lightshow. Come and help us celebrate!”

The Georgian Festival takes place next monthThe Georgian Festival takes place next month
The Georgian Festival takes place next month

From Georgian characters promenading the streets, music around every corner, carriage rides around the historic Mall, an array of food & craft stalls, a choice of Georgian-themed tours, a new menu of events for foodies in a city full of vibrant restaurants, cafés and pubs, this is an immersive experience you will not want to miss. For those travelling to the city, Armagh’s has many exceptional accommodation offerings with festive savings in place for Armagh’s Georgian Festival weekend.

This year’s family lightshow – A Fairytale of Armagh – takes to the stage at Market Square on Friday and Saturday evening transforming the city’s stunning Georgian Market House backdrop into a festive feast for the eyes with shimmering special effects and plenty of surprises. Advanced tickets for this year’s lightshow will be available from 10 am on 07 November and visitors are encouraged to book early for all ticketed events to avoid disappointment.

Armagh Observatory and Planetarium will also be creating memories for the children this year when it blasts off with its ‘Mission Santa’ space pantomime in a new battle to save Santa. Visitors will also get a chance to enjoy ‘The Alien Who Stole Christmas’ – a full dome show that will keep everyone enthralled.

The Hill of Armagh will play its role in welcoming visitors over the weekend when the historic library, built in 1771, and No 5 Vicars’ Hill, the former Registry, open their doors to encourage visitors to unravel the riches of time. Both buildings were part of Archbishop Robinson’s plans for Georgian Armagh.

The festival is one way to get you into the festive moodThe festival is one way to get you into the festive mood
The festival is one way to get you into the festive mood

Popular amongst visitors and locals alike one of the best ways to experience the history, sounds and sights of Armagh is by taking one of the many walking tours on offer this year, showcasing the best – and the worst! – of its Georgian past, including a ‘Not So Gorgeous Walking Tour’ that lifts the lid on some of the Georgians’ unsavoury habits. There are also guided walking and ghost tours of the city as well as tours of the Archbishop’s Palace and Palace Demesne.

A special Georgian-themed play – Promiscuity and Prudence – takes place at The Market Place theatre on Friday, celebrating a one-night-only performance of a new Jane Austen inspired comedy play filled with scandal, seduction and raucous entertainment.

Guilty or not, witness the harshness of how the Georgian legal system dealt with criminals in Armagh Courthouse and play your part as a jury member in this interactive and entertaining ticketed event, taking place at 12pm and 2pm.

With Georgian Christmas Afternoon Tea events taking place at Armagh City Hotel and the Archbishop’s Palace, Georgian Ladies Who Lunch at Armagh County Club, Georgian Paint & Sip at Armagh County Museum and a Georgian Murder Mystery at Armagh County Club, there is plenty of food, drink and entertainment to mark the countdown to this year’s festive season. While many events require pre-booking, there will also be a wide range of free events taking place throughout the weekend.

For more information and to book tickets for any of the special events, visit www.visitarmagh.com/georgian.