Musical extravanganza at Solitude ‘Yulefest’

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As part of the run up to Christmas, Northern Irish troubadour supreme, Duke Special is set to bring his unique and charming musical extravaganza to Banbridge District when he headlines a series of special festive events in Solitude Park.

Organised by Banbridge District Council ‘Solitude Yulefest’, is a programme of arts, music events and workshops guaranteed to get you in the Christmas spirit. From Saturday, November 30 until Friday, December 6, Solitude Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland, with events taking place in a special marquee, fully heated to keep the winter chill at bay.

The magical marquee venue will provide the perfect atmospheric setting for an intimate concert with local legend Duke Special on Tuesday, December 3 from 7pm-10pm. Duke Special inhabits a world unlike any other - a world filled with vaudeville-esque sensibility, sing-a-longs and addictive melodies. A unique event not to be missed, tickets are on sale now priced £12.

On Saturday, November 30, Solitude will be swaying to the sound of Swingabella from 7pm to 9.30pm. Tickets cost £5.

Swingabella are a close-harmony vocal trio bringing back the sassy sound of the 30s, and 40s – the Swing era, lovingly reproducing the intimate and intricate harmonies of the Andrews Sisters in the 40s and the Boswells Sisters before them. Come along early and learn to Lindyhop and Charleston with the Belle Hoppers, and then practice your new fancy footwork during the live performance by Swingabella backed by their seven-piece band!

On Wednesday, December 4 Yulefest warmly welcomes Warrenpoint singer-songwriter Allison McGrath and Soulantics from 7.30pm to 9.30pm and on Friday, December 6 take a global musical trip with ‘Christmas Around the World’ on December 6.

Christmas shoppers will be in for a treat on December 2 and 3 from 12.30-2pm. Bring your lunch to the Yulefest marquee and soak up the atmosphere of this uniquely festive venue. Take the weight off your feet during your seasonal shopping trip, and be serenaded by Buskfest 2013 Individual Winner, Juram Gavero. These lunchtime music events are free of charge.

A wealth of wonderful workshops awaits those who enjoy the creativity of the festive season. Sometimes presentation is everything, so why not spend a little time learning how to be more creative when it comes to parcelling up your pressies at a Christmas Gift Wrapping workshop on Saturday, November 30 from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Please bring your own scissors and a small item to wrap. Cost is £5

Christmas nights out are a great excuse for a little girly glitz and glamour. Irish Makeup Artist of the Year 2012, Stacey Kilpatrick, Creative Director of SAK Designs, will show you the professional way to polish and perfect your Christmas look during the Girls Night Out Makeup Masterclass from 7pm to 9pm on Monday December 2. Please bring your own makeup bag and a good mirror. Cost is £5. All events will take place in the Christmas marque. Tickets can be obtained by phoning 4066 0605.