City’s Festivities programme is officially launched

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CELTIC music on a warship, a song contest and the national poet of Wales will be part of this year’s Portsmouth Festivities.

The line-up was announced at a launch ceremony at Portsmouth Grammar School, which more than 100 people attended.

James Priory, who is the Festivities chairman and the school’s headteacher, introduced this year’s programme.

Mr Priory said a highlight would be a concert on board HMS Warrior featuring the Peatbog Faeries, who play Celtic music fused with electronica, rock and jazz.

Another big event will be called The Seafarers and bring together professional and community dancers to tell the story of shipbuilding in Portsmouth.

‘To have an open-air event celebrating the maritime history of Portsmouth will be fantastic,’ Mr Priory said.

The Festivities will also include the annual Singer and the Song contest and talks by author Andy Mulligan and national poet of Wales Gillian Clarke.

Last year’s Singer and the Song contest winner Eloise Keating, from Horndean, was at the launch and played two original songs, Working Late and Fade to White.

The Festivities has a new general manager, Erica Smith, from Wickham, who is taking over from Samantha Worsey.

The Festivities will run from June 19 to June 28 and include more than 70 events. See