More than 500 people gathered in glór Ennis on Saturday night for the official launch of Clare – County of Culture.
Clare County Council hosted the launch of one the most comprehensive programmes of cultural activities and events produced by any county in Ireland.
Built around the hosting of Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Ennis next August, the year long celebration and promotion of Clare as a County of Culture during 2016 began with street entertainment throughout Ennis town centre and a fireworks display over Cusack Park.
Business, tourism and community representatives then gathered in glór for a concert performance by the world-famous Kilfenora Ceili Band and the formal launch of the County of Culture initiative.
The County of Culture launch also includde the unveiling of the County Clare Festivals & Events Guide 2016, which gives details of over 400 events and festivals. 10,000 copies of the County of Culture programme are being distributed throughout Ireland and overseas, while they are also available at many locations throughout Clare including tourist locations and libraries.