With only days to go until the Shannon Festival, the team behind it are putting together the finishing touches.
Running from the 9th to the 11th of September, the Shanon Festival will have a range of workshops, performances and children’s entertainment. The community event is being led by the Shannon Venue team in association with Skycourt Shopping Centre and a number of community groups.The initiative grew from a Cedra and Clare County Council supported program lead by the Shannon Venue team.
With the assistance of Pat Kennedy from etownz who provide innovative community development solutions, they have made a significant impact in Shannon this year. A community audit was completed and the shannon.ie website was brought back to life after being dormant for over 10 years.
Skycourt offered a the use of a unit (now called ‘The V’) to be used as a creative hub for different groups within the town. A number of community meetings have been held there as well as coder dojo classes, creative writing, drama group rehearsals, singing and arts classes. The festival will showcase a number of these activities, and is being run in association with Skycourt and a number of community groups.
Event organiser Derek Barrett told The Clare Herald about some of the different events taking place during the festival. “We have tried to cater for a wide variety of interests: music, song, dance and the arts. But we didn’t want to restrict it to just the arts. This week we have added Jamie Knight, one of the top freestyle footballers in the world to the line-up. He will be flying in on Saturday morning and will spend most of the day performing in different locations around Skycourt.
“The local Basketball team will also be throwing some hoops and some shapes. We will have demonstrations from the Fire Service, the Army and the Scouts and will also have an aircraft cockpit on-site one of the days. There will be a henna artist, hair braider as well as street entertainers and a magician performing at different locations” Barrett added.
Maloney Hardware have organised a race track for the weekend and there will be a chance for children to see and use their full range of Berg Go-Carts. On Sunday morning, as well as having an outdoor mass, there will be a ‘Cars n Coffee’ meet up in the car park with a range of classic and vintage cars and a few scooters on display.
While the official opening of the Festival will take place at 7pm on Friday, organisers are encouraging people to come to the Festival Tent for their Lunch on Friday afternoon, and listen to local harpist Aisling Lyons. This will run from 12-2:30. The Festival Tent will be located in the town Square in front of the former Shannon Development building.
Musicians for the weekend include Paddy Casey, Big Generator, The Blues Train with Johnny Fean, David Hope, Adam Maloney, Mister Sister, Three Screws Loose, the Sixmilebridge Folk Club & the Shannon Gospel Choir. There will also be a number of buskers performing over the weekend in Skycourt.
Local artist, Sinead Scullion has put together the Creative Crew who have been adding splashes of colour to the town centre, and are working all the hours that they have on some interesting art installations. Christy Collins and the local Mens Shed group have been on hand to help out the Festival when needed.