THE Ennis Street Festival is set to run from this Friday to July 8.
This is its seventh year and this time out there are also a variety of workshops at Glór in the days leading up to the festival.
Every year, the arts festival brings the local community out onto the streets to celebrate different cultures and artistic endeavours and there will be a colourful mix of acrobatics, music, dance, visual art, workshops, theatre and puppet shows.
Ana Colomer is the festival’s artistic director and she co-ordinates all artistic activities and organises exhibitions and visual art activities.
She said the Sorcaluba circus walkabout on Saturday is something to look forward to. “One of the highlights will be the circus, that’ll be a big one. Apart from the show, they’ll be doing a walkabout, they’ll be covering the whole town. They have a big giant wheel and ladies go around and around inside. There’ll be stilt walkers too.”
She is also involved in a project called Door to Magic at O’Halloran’s Lane on Saturday. “The Tic Toc puppets project is something I’m involved with. We will have a piece of architecture and then the use of O’Halloran’s Lane. The lane will be closed at both sides and used as a venue. The project is called Door to Magic, so we put an arch and a sculpture at the front on Parnell Street, that leads to the lane and inside there is a puppet show with multimedia projection as the backdrop. That’ll be all day Saturday.”
She said there will be more events in the market area this year. “It’s going to be used on Saturday and there will be five specially bought gazebos and people doing craft demonstrations. It’ll be nice to see people working there.”
Town and County Councillor Johnny Flynn is also involved with the festival. “I’ve been supporting the work being done for the last three or four years. They’re bringing great colour and creativity to the town,” he told The Clare Champion.
He said it is becoming more and more a part of the town’s summer calendar. “It has grown and people are embracing it. You have Wall Candy and pieces of international quality graffiti at Glór and over at Harmony Row. What it’s doing is bringing art and creativity onto the streets of Ennis.”
He says the rubber duck race, which will take place on Sunday, is a highlight. “I suppose the duck race is something that has drawn the attention of people and they’re decorating ducks. Unfortunately, my duck didn’t win it last year. He’s in training now and the kids are feeding him every morning. The duck race and the festival brings a bit of craic to the town and I’m looking forward to a bit of distraction from the sober post-Celtic Tiger times we’re in. These festivals are fantastic, I think.”
The councillor said the town has really got behind the festival now. “There’s a huge number of people volunteering and getting involved. People are embracing it. What’s interesting is that Ennis is the 10th most populated city or town in Ireland and during the mediaeval years, towns the size of Ennis were all walled but because Ennis was built on an island it was never walled so it has always been open to new ideas and new cultures. Ennis also became very cosmopolitan because of Shannon and really the street festival is bringing cosmopolitan influences, through music and art, into the town.”