Race sparks celebrations as Giro fever hits new heights

Brethren from Ballintoy LOL 803 will be showing their support for the Giro d'Italia as it passes their hall
Brethren from Ballintoy LOL 803 will be showing their support for the Giro d'Italia as it passes their hall

Counties Antrim and Armagh are getting in the Giro d’Italia spirit for a close encounter with the prestigious race.

As the peloton winds its way to the north coast this morning, Newtownabbey will buzz with a family fun and music party. The ‘By the Lough’ event at Loughshore Park and Merville Garden Village is between 12pm and 4pm.

In Antrim, as well as the Garden Show Ireland taking place at Castle Gardens, the town is hosting a family fun day from 12-3pm.

Crowds are also expected in Ballymena town centre for a Giro-themed family activities between 1.30pm and 3.30pm.

As the race reaches Ballymoney, riders will be greeted by ‘A Taste of Italy’ with the north Antrim town going all green, white and red.

Along the north coast, brethren from Ballintoy LOL 803 will show their support for the Giro as it passes along the Causeway coastal route today.

Lodge master Wesley Craig said around 20 members would cheer the cyclists on as they passed in front of their Orange Hall. “There is a buzz right across the north coast,” he said. “I was in Ballycastle this evening and that was all everyone was talking about. The pictures and the filming will be fantastic anyway, but it would great if was a nice day to set it off that wee bit better.”

Ballycastle is hosting events at a music and family fun day along the sea front.

A carnival atmosphere is guaranteed when they reach Larne, which is hosting outdoor events from 2pm to 4pm.

Another warm welcome awaits in Carrickfergus with an Italian-themed family fun and music event - activities taking place around Market Place, High Street and Marine Gardens from 11am.

On Sunday communities will cheer the Giro on to Dublin. The riders depart from Armagh city on the third and final day of the Northern Ireland stages, and will then thrill the residents of Loughgall, Richhill, Markethill, Keady, Newtownhamilton and Forkhill as they whizz by.


Race leaves Belfast’s Titanic Quarter at 10.30am - passing through Glengormley with roads in the area reopening at 11.30am.

Continues north via Templepatrick and Antrim where roads reopen at 12pm.

Ballymena road closures end at 1pm and the race will be clear of Ballymoney by 1.30pm - Ballycastle by 3.30pm.

Race route in Carnlough will be clear by 4pm, Larne by 4.30pm and Carrick by 5pm.