GI Jive Festival 2016

Kilkeel is preparing to swing into its third B/E Aerospace GI Jive Festival on Saturday 30th July.

In July a packed week-long programme of events will honour the town’s historic associations with the thousands of GIs who made the locality their temporary home in World War II as they trained to play their part in the allied invasion of Europe.

The festival will launch on Saturday 30 July when the sights and sounds of the past will create a distinctly 40’s vibe at Mourne Esplanade in the town centre. Attractions will include historical re-enactments, vintage vehicles, swing music and dance plus bustling American-themed market stalls and artisan food producers offering everything from home baked delicacies to beers brewed at the foot of the Mourne Mountains.

This year food and drink will take centre stage at the festivities, marking Tourism NIs Year of Food & Drink 2016 and Kilkeel, long famous for its fishing fleet, will serve up a vast range of fabulous locally caught fish and seafood. Celebrity chefs will be on hand to demonstrate how to prepare and cook the catch of the day… with opportunities for the public to taste their creations!

Celebrity chefs on the day will include Michelin Star Danni Barry, Danny Millar, Chris McGowan, Eddie Attwell, Roger Moynihan and compere Paula McIntrye.

The usual performers will again be converging on Mourne Esplanade including the very popular Wartime Living History Association, War Years Remembered, Ulster Aviation Society and Living Vintage, all of whom have wowed the crowds during the previous two years. The Wartime Living History Association will be carrying out their exciting re-enactment as well as making American style donuts and showing visitors around their authentic American camp. War Years Remembered will be displaying their unique collection of wartime memorabilia which includes a 1944 Morris Gun Tractor which went into action on 8th June 1945 during the Normandy Landings on Sword Beach! Ulster Aviation Society will be presenting all their fascinating aviation attractions including a real life replica Spitfire of which you can climb into the cockpit and get your photo taken. For the ladies, Living Vintage will be back with their beautiful collection of vintage 1940s fashion, modelling them and telling the story behind the clothes. Swingabella and Nightswing will be making their long awaited return along with newcomers The Swing Gals to provide the musical backdrop with 1940s swing and jive…so make sure you bring your dancing shoes! If you would like to brush up on your swing dance skills you can learn all the moves from the professional dance troupes who will be performing in the marquee. For those who wish to dress to impress there will be an opportunity to enter the fancy dress competitions and win lots of great prizes for the best costumes.

GI Jive promises a full programme of exciting events throughout the week so please check the website for more details: