Home » Arts » Art » Festival takes to the streets

Festival takes to the streets

What A Wonderful Life Underwater is the theme for the fifth Ennis Street Festival that takes place on July 3 and 4 on the streets of the county town.
Festival director, Ana Bella Alvarez explained that this year’s festival incorporates original artistic ideas based on folklore and enchantment, with the intention of promoting art and culture in Ennis.
“A unique visual experience will be produced with a fanfare of thousands of balloons streaming from the windows of the shops along the main streets of Ennis. We will also have sculptures, paintings, workshops, street performers, musicians and delicious food and crafts provided in the Continental Food and Craft Market, located at Moran’s Car Park, Lower Market Street,” she said.
She said that the festival aims to have a family focus. “We want parents to bring their children into the town centre to enjoy free entertainment.  We are in the middle of a recession, so what could be better to raise our spirits than some high-quality street theatre and dance that doesn’t cost a cent,” the director added. “We also intend to inspire artists and local community groups and to stimulate the imagination of the Ennis people.”
This year, Ms Alvarez, who is a sculpture artist, is responsible for producing the balloon project that is sure to make a dramatic impact on the streets of Ennis.
She explained, “This extravagant and creative project is based on the theme of ‘water’ as inspired by the history of Ennis. The name Ennis comes from the Irish word Inis, meaning Island and in the case of Ennis it relates to an island formed between two courses of the River Fergus.”
Arrangements will be made to display thousands of balloons around the town centre and there will be a giant mermaid sculpture, designed by Ms Alvarez placed on the statue of Daniel O’Connell, in the main square.
The director added that the mermaid sculpture is designed according to “simulate the fluidity of water and the waves of emotion that art can inspire”.
As part of the festival, on the Saturday there will be music provided around the town by Clare Youth Services and a street circus proved by Sorcas Quircas, with audience participation, at 2.30pm at O’Connell Square. Well-known storyteller Eddie Lenihan will tell stories and fables at 4pm at the Temple Gate Hotel.
Also on Saturday, there will be a Claymation Interactive Exhibition, which will be on display at Glór Theatre.
On the Sunday, families can take the opportunity to stroll around Ennis at their leisure and enjoy entertainment by the likes of Your Man’s Puppets, various mime artists, a variety of dance shows happening live on the streets and they can also dip into dance workshops ranging from Irish traditional to salsa.
To add to the colour and fun of the occasion, the organisers will host a competition on Sunday for the best fancy dress costumes, based on festival’s theme. Children are invited to dress up and present themselves to the judges, who will be located at O’Connell Square from 3pm. The wearers of the most imaginative costumes will be rewarded with an assortment of prizes.
Mime artists Cata Isle Mime will entertain visitors to the streets of Ennis also on the Sunday. On the same day, artists participating in the Paint the Town project will set up around Ennis to paint the town’s landmark and most interesting sites.
Throughout the festival, people are invited to drop into Glór Theatre to view the posters produced by the primary school children of Ennis, as part of this year’s Ennis Street Festival Schools Poster competition.
The director stressed that Ennis Street Festival is run on a voluntary basis and is made possible by local support. Those who would like to show their support for the festival can make a donation at AIB Bank Place, sort code 935387, account number 06391089.

About News Editor

Check Also

Galway take control in second half

Galway 0-18 Clare 0-11 Clare’s dream of a place in the last four in the …