Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dunlavin Festival of the Arts

Kilcullen people who want to be entertained out of town over the weekend, without having to travel far, might well consider the annual Dunlavin Festival of the Arts, writes Brian Byrne.

Running from Friday evening through Sunday, there's literally something of interest to everyone and all ages in this 35th year of the Festival.

Things kick off at 7.30pm on the Friday with the official opening of the core Art Exhibition in the iconic Market House, by Brian Hayes MEP. There will then be live music by Cora Venus Lunny and friends. Traditional set dancing in the Imaal Hall and music in the pubs will keep the evening going.

On the Saturday there's a 10am Farmers' Market outside the Camphill Meitheal cafe, while those of an artistic bent either musically or otherwise can take part in Sound Workshops, Bottle Painting, or take in a puppet show or a performance by the Camphill Theatre Group.

An evening in St Nicholas Church will celebrate the life and work of the prolific writer Jonathan Swift. Swift had received a number of clerical 'livings' in Ireland in the early 1700s, including the historical Prebend of Dunlavin associated with St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin, before eventually being appointed Dean of St Patrick's.

On Sunday there will be food stalls in the street and an afternoon barbecue located in Jonathan Swift School, as well as Drumming, Pottery, and Dance workshops. Street music, circus acts, and a cartoon character show on the green will provide the backdrop to a very family afternoon.

An Historical Talk around the village at 5pm should turn out to be very enlightening to those who don't know that much about our neighbouring community. Kilcullen and Dunlavin have traditionally had a close connection, and during the 1950s and before, the Imaal Hall was a popular choice for Kilcullen-centred dances, film showings and fundraising events.

A full timetable is available on the Festival's website.

(Pic of Dunlavin Market House courtesy of Leoboudv via Wikipedia.)