We opened the exhibition to the general public and had over 200 visitors who came to find out more about their patron saint.
As well as the interactive story trail, we had two craft workshops for children. Jumping Clay Magherafelt came and showed the kids how to make an amazing leprechaun keyring. The Spotty Dog craft studio came too and in their workshop each child got their own ceramic sheep to paint and decorate in honour of Patrick’s time minding sheep on Slemish.
We also had a café which was much appreciated by all the parents and grandparents. A big thanks to Cathy and her team of volunteers from St. Patricks Broughshane who ran the café, provided all the lovely homemade cakes and served the tea, coffee and juice.
A highlight of the day was the amazing Irish dancing by Sophie Lister-Tinsley from Jordan Dance School. Sophie is a really talented young Irish dancer who travels around the UK and Europe taking part in Irish dancing competitions. She had just come 3rd last week in London so we were very grateful that she took time out of her busy schedule to perform for us.
It was fantastic this year to work closely with parishioners of St. Patrick’s Church of Ireland Broughshane and because of their enthusiasm and willingness to be involved this really was a joint venture between the parish and Connor’s Children’s council. Parishioners took part in the acting, the workshops for schools, the café and the set up and take down. It was brilliant to work in partnership with them and because of their help the event was great success. A special mention must be made to Sarah Gamble who was the main organiser from the parish, and our “go to” person whenever we needed help or advice. Also a huge thank you to Stuart Lloyd who led the history workshop for the schools groups and kept the children interested throughout with a lively discussion including lots of group participation.
Our thanks and congratulations must also go to Rev. Andrew Campbell and his wife Alison. Andrew was as involved as he could be with the event, especially with the planning and sourcing funding, but his wife did just have their first child 2 days before we were due to start. They have a healthy baby boy called Henry Andrew. The proud dad dropped in to see us most days. We wish the family every blessing in the weeks and months ahead.