"Ireland's beautiful Lough Swilly was the setting for a dramatic story which changed the life of a foul mouthed slave trader. John Newton went on to pen one of the most famous and well-loved songs of all time - "Amazing Grace" and to mentor William Wilberforce in his long battle to abolish the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade." (www.AmazingGrace.ie 2015)
Wednesday 8 - Sunday 12 April
Celebrate the inspirational story of John Newton, his dramatic arrival in Buncrana on April 8, 1748 and the lasting impact of his life and work. The third-annual “Amazing Grace Festival” features fun and uplifting events for all ages including history, music, dance, arts and crafts, exhibitions, family fun, faith stories, and much more. This year we explore the theme of “transformation” looking at how John Newton’s life was changed forever and seeing how our lives and communities can be transformed for good!
Wednesday 8 April
FIREWORK DISPLAY & OPENING CELEBRATION
8.30pm @ The Fishing Greens, Cahir O’Doherty Avenue, Buncrana (just above the Amazing Grace Viewing Point) Join us for this high-energy family show featuring live music and dance culminating in a spectacular display of fireworks over Lough Swilly. Entry €2 per person at road barriers. Under 2s go free.
Thursday 9 April
“VOICE OF BUNCRANA” SINGING WORKSHOP
11am - 3pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. Don’t just sing in the shower! Work with professional musicians and singers to develop your talents through voice coaching, exercises, harmonies and more. With the option of performing solo or as a group at the Festival Finale on Sunday. Ages: 10 - 14.
STREET DANCE WORKSHOP (INCLUDING BREAKDANCING)
11am - 3pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. Do you love to dance? Join professional dancers for this street dance workshop to learn new moves and high-energy original choreography. With the option of performing solo or as a group at the Festival Finale on Sunday. Ages: 10 - 14. €2 per person. Bring your own packed lunch.
BEACH ART ATTACK
2 - 4pm at Portaw Beach, beyond Ned’s Point on the Buncrana Shore Path A community art project in partnership with Artlink! Work together to create a giant beach picture under the direction of local artists and using only natural materials. A great afternoon out for all the family! Bring your own spades and garden rakes. The whole process will be filmed and a video of the process shown at the Festival Finale on Sunday.
The John NEWTON LECTURE
“Can politics transform history? - the life and legacy of William Wilberforce”
7.30pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. Admission free. Refreshments provided. West Inishowen History and Heritage Society is proud to present the fourth annual John Newton Lecture. Inishowen TD Padraig Mac Lochlainn talks about the inspirational story of William Wilberforce, its connection with our own “Amazing Grace” story here in Inishowen and the potential for politics to transform history.
Friday 10 April
“TRANSFORMERS” FAMILY FUN DAY
11am - 4pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana.Holiday fun for all the family with arts and crafts, refreshments, BBQ, face painting, competitions, live music, dress-up photo booth, games and activities all on the festival theme of “transformation”. Admission free. Donations appreciated.
Saturday 11 April
- (Make A Difference in your community)
11am - 5pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. In partnership with Tidy Towns, we are taking on a one-day challenge to completely transform and improve part of Buncrana with hard work, passion and imagination. Join our dedicated team for all or part of the day. Have fun and be part of something incredible! Leaving from The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana at 11am sharp. All welcome from 10.30am for coffee and snacks.
THE “TRANSFORMATION” EXHIBITION
11am - 5pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana.Two free exhibitions rolled into one. Visit an art exhibition around the theme of transformation and experience the interactive John Newton exhibition, featuring history come to life. Suitable for all ages including lots of activities - take the helm of The Greyhound ship, write with a quill pen, create your own song lyrics and much more. Free refreshments throughout the day.
CHEESE AND WINE RECEPTION
7.30 - 9pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. A chance to browse the art exhibition and interactive history experience in a relaxed atmosphere with live music, cheeses from around the world and a glass of wine. Admission free, donations appreciated. Sunday 12 April THE
1pm - 5pm @ The Exchange, Castle Avenue, Buncrana. Two free exhibitions rolled into one. Visit an art exhibition around the theme of transformation and experience the interactive John Newton exhibition, featuring history come to life. Suitable for all ages including lots of activities and challenges - take the helm of The Greyhound ship, write with a quill pen, create your own song lyrics and much more. . Free refreshments throughout the afternoon.
AMAZING GRACE FESTIVAL FINALE
7.30pm @ The Plaza, Main Street, Buncrana What is so amazing about grace? Join us to celebrate how John Newton was changed by “Amazing Grace” and hear moving stories of ordinary Donegal people whose lives have also been transformed… featuring live music, dance, video and personal stories in a relaxed “cabaret-style” atmosphere. Admission €5 per person.
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