Belfast Marks Titanic Anniversary

April 1, 2002

Belfast is nuts about Titanic. The Northern Ireland capital, which more commonly garners headlines about its internal wars between Catholics and Protestants, is holding a celebration this week that commemorates the 90th anniversary of the “unsinkable” ship’s maiden voyage, which was built at a Belfast shipyard. Titanic departed on that first -- and only -- cruise on April 2, 1912.
Throughout the week of “Titanic: Made in Belfast” festivities, actors trained in telling stories of the ship will wander around the downtown city hall area, sharing anecdotes with tourists and passers-by. City Hall itself features a museum-style exhibition. Special boat tours are providing enthusiasts with an up-close-and-personal look at the actual dock where the ship was build. There will be a gala ball -- period style, attendees will dress in the Edwardian fashions of the Titanic era. And a memorial plaque will be hung at the Belfast house of Thomas Andrews, the ship’s designer, who was among the 1,500-passengers who died when the ship hit that iceberg.
Speaking of icebergs, perhaps Belfast is going a step too far in its embrace of all things Titanic. The city is trying to find a way to tow an actual iceberg into Belfast Lough.