Carrickfergus will play host to to the 22nd Annual Northern Ireland Open Accordion Championships on Saturday, February 23.
The huge accordion festival is being held in the East Antrim town for the ninth time and has attracted a bumper 210 entries with competitors from as far afield as England, Scotland, Germany and the Irish Republic as well as a strong local entry.
The venue is the Loughshore Hotel where events will get underway from 9.30am and run to 5pm with the prize presentation taking place later that night at a Gala Dance in the Hotel with The Keith Dickson Scottish Ceilidh Group.
Catering for all types of accordion music there will be Solo, Duet, Group, Orchestral and Marching Band Sections suitable for all ages and grades ranging in styles from classical and continental to traditional.
This year there will again be a Grand Finale featuring the Massed Accordion Band with over 60 accordions on stage. There will also be a number of Trade Exhibitors which should add greatly to the interest and atmosphere.
A free and easy concert will be held in the Glendun Suite on the Friday night featuring top accordionists Nigel Black, Jean Hanger, Jovan Rynjak, Gary Arnold, Alan Shute, Sean O’Neill & Anne-Marie Devine, Nigel Pasby & Helen Newton, Helen Rich, Malachy Cairns and Barry Smith and then at the prize presentation there will be a 45 minute concert featuring top accordionist Noelle McCarthy and a number of prize winners from previous years.
These Accordion Championships, which are set to deliver an extravaganza of accordion music catering for all tastes, have been recognised by the National Accordion Organisation of the United Kingdom as a qualifying heat for the British Championships.
Daytime admission is free.