Macnas Halloween Parade returning in 2022

Galway Daily arts Macnas Halloween Parade returning in 2022
credit: Julia Dunin Photography

Though the iconic Macnas Halloween parade isn’t taking place this year, the world renowned masters of visual storytelling is planning a return to form next year.

The annual parade is the culmination of a year-long public participation programme involving over 300 local artists, performers and participants.

This is a major undertaking, with activities and planning already well under way for next year’s spectacle to an audience of 70,000 plus people on the streets of Galway.

Ahead of that in 2021, the award-winning group are focusing on educational programmes Macnas At School, the Drumming Ensemble, and the Brass Ensemble.

They are also developing plans for a new initiative for young people, Macnas Spectacle Youth Theatre.

Macnas At School is a creative programme designed specifically for primary schools with a creative mission to invite children into the magical world made by these artists and dreamers.

The programme is led by professional, highly-skilled visual and performance artists, and children will explore the world of the imagination through visual storytelling, making, performance and play.

The first school to take part is Scoil Iognáid in Galway City, where the programme launched this month in partnership with Creative Schools.

Under the guidance of Macnas associate artist Tom Meskell, Rang a Cúig pupils conceived, designed and constructed a magical sea world created with large lantern sculptures, music, special effects and performance.

The Macnas Drumming Ensemble is the beating heart of the company’s epic work, and early next year auditions will be held for budding and experienced drummers alike to join the company.

Macnas Education Coordinator Victoria McCormack said “We are working with drumming school Drumadore on an exciting new partnership which will see an opportunity for younger participants  to cut their teeth”.

There they will develop their new skills under the experienced guidance of Macnas Drumming Director and Drumdore Artistic Director Éimhín Cradock.

“Once budding drummers have reached a certain skill level, they will then be eligible to participate in the audition process for the Macnas Drumming Ensemble and participate in our public and community facing events.”

“The ensembles are key to everything we do at Macnas and the development and training of the next generation is at the forefront of the company’s activities.”

The Brass Ensemble features consists of weekly workshops for participants aged 15 or over, led by professional musician and composer Matthew Berrill.

As with all the company’s ensembles, the Brass Ensemble feeds directly into the Parades and other events in the yearly programme of activities, and early 2022 will also see auditions for this talented group.

The up and soon to be coming Macnas Youth Spectacle Theatre will build on the work of the ensemble programmes running for the past decade, with plans to launch in early 2022.

This brand new programme, currently in the planning stages, will be an exciting opportunity for young people to engage with performance and theatre making within the spectacle arts.

Participants will also have the opportunity to be part of the spectacular 2022 Macnas Halloween Parade.

If you would like to get involved in any of these ensemble troupes, email