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Thousands expected for annual Slemish St. Patrick’s Day pilgrimage

Thursday, 2 February 2017

MID and East Antrim Borough Council has unveiled its plans for this year's St Patrick's Day event at Slemish on March 17.
The St Patrick's Day celebration is a popular annual feature which attracts around 3,000 visitors to the Broughshane area.
It takes the form of a climb to the top of Slemish mountain where popular legend has it that St Patrick tended pigs and sheep as a young slave and was converted to Christianity.
A report on the event was presented to last week's meeting of council's Economic Growth and Tourism Committee.
It stated the Mid and East Antrim Tourism strategy, currently in draft, "recognises the potential for cultural and heritage based tourism within the Borough."
It adds: "The association of St Patrick with Slemish and the neighbouring village of Broughshane presents a key opportunity to develop a Christian heritage product in the area, the outputs of which will be an economic benefit from tourism for the area and for Broughshane in particular.
“The traditional Slemish event has great capacity to fit in with the overall strategy of developing the Christian Heritage project in the area and so officers have engaged with the local community development association in Broughshane and Raceview Mill to seek their engagement, input and support with the 2017 event."
Members were informed that plans for the delivery of St Patrick's Day at Slemish were well advanced and a communications strategy is being developed with the assistance of the communications team.
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.

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