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Darkley community festival in celebration of 180 years this weekend

The day will begin at 12 noon on Saturday

All roads lead to the Darkley this weekend as the small mill village celebrates 180 years since the first six houses were built to house the workers of the linen mills.

The event on Saturday (September 9) is being organised by Darkley Rural Community Group and will include a Fun Day, a Vintage Rally and a special Townland Challenge and promises something for everyone.

There will also be music throughout the day by local musicians and various vendors to keep everyone fed and watered.

There is a small entry fee of £5 for anyone over the age of 16 while all children are admitted for free.

Chairperson of the group, Willie Monaghan said: “This is going to a fantastic event and one that parents will especially welcome.

“Children will be admitted for free and, when in the field, all the rides will be free.

“Of course, there is an element of fundraising, with a minimal entry fee of £5 for over 16s, but we really want the day to be about fun, enjoyment and celebrating the birth of the village that we call home.”

Darkley Rural Community Group were formed in January to tackle underinvestment, dereliction and isolation in the once flourishing mill village and have made fantastic strides towards the regeneration of the area with funding already having been secured from Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon borough Council, PEACE IV and Live Here – Love Here NI.

Mr Monaghan added: “We are a fledgling group who hope to transform the environment in Darkley. We also want to develop community cohesion by bringing people together, not only from Darkley Village but from the surrounding townlands.

“This is a great little community and we want to celebrate that on Saturday. We are expecting a large crowd on Saturday from all corners of the county and beyond.

“There will be people from Darkley and the surrounding areas, people who came from the village and have since moved away and there will be people who have never set foot in Darkley in their lives.

“Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate this fantastic family event.”

A big day is planned with the Fun Day consisting of all sorts of rides and amusements.

There will be food, drink, face painting available although these will be charged.

There will also be a Vintage Rally with all sorts of vintage tractors and cars on show.

There is no registration fee for vintage and refreshments will be provided for those who bring their vehicles along.

In the afternoon, seven townlands will battle it out for the McCann Cup. Teams of local people from Darkley village, Darkley townland, Aughnagurgan, Tullyglush, Rathcarbry, Clea and Cargaclogher will take part in a series of challenges aimed at testing their ability to work as a team.

This promises to be a fun-filled event with excitement already at fever pitch.

The Darkley Community Fun Day begins at 12pm with the Fun Day and Vintage Rally.

The Townland Challenge begins at 2pm with all activities expected to finish about 5pm. Everyone is welcome.

For more information, visit the Facebook page here.

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