FOLK fans are gearing up for a weekend of song and dance in Durham City.

The 11th Durham Folk Party will be held on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at various venues in the city.

The main one will be Durham Rugby Club where singarounds will be held on Friday evening and Sunday lunch time.

On Saturday, there will be an Irish dancing workshop from 9am-noon upstairs, while downstairs the popular musicians' sessions will be held.

Starting at 2pm upstairs there will be traditional folk music competitions.

At 8pm the Rugby Club will host a folk club session featuring special guests Terry Conway and Liz Law, Katie Buckhaven, and new group Magpie.

The Folk Party will feature a new event on Saturday at the Town Hall - a story-telling session hosted by Thor Ewing - and funded by Durham City Arts. At 10am there will be a series of tall tales and yarns, at 1pm a children's show including a puppet theatre, and at 3pm tales of wonder and songs of enchantment will be performed.

The highlight of Saturday night will be a ceilidh at 8pm featuring the Trimdon Folk Band and Mike Longstaff.

There will also be displays of Irish dancing by Anam Cara and women's clog dancing by Rivington Morris from Lan-cashire. On Sunday, there will be more story-telling at the Dun Cow pub starting at noon.

The Rugby Club will host a singaround session upstairs and musicians' session downstairs.

The Folk Party will close on Sunday evening in the club with a 'survivors' session' singaround.

A Folk Party spokesman said: "There will be a spirit of great conviviality with Morris dance displays from the dozen or so invited teams in the city centre and singing in carefully-selected pubs - folkies being real ale drinkers.''

For details of the weekend call Durham Tourist Inform-ation Centre, Market Place, on (0191) 3843720.