First ever Oranmore Arts Festival should not be missed!

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Looking forward to a weekend of fun at the Oranmore Arts Festival from 10th to 13th May are Sam Rigley (9), Megan Leadbetter (6), Sam Deely (6) and Rebecca Leadbetter (4).

The first ever Oranmore Arts Festival will take place from the 10 to 13 May, and it promises to be packed full of a wide range of activities and events for all ages.

The theme of the first festival is ‘Meitheal’, both to highlight the sense of community in the coastal village and to encourage a tradition of working together for the common good.

The festival, with events for all ages will bring the wealth of local talent to the fore through a unique and exciting programme that includes music, literature, art, theatre and film.

Entry to the majority of events is free of charge.

The festival will officially open with a performance by Bel Canto, three of Galway’s finest sopranos, Delia Boyce, Hildegarde Naughton and Sandra Schalks, on Thursday May 10 at 6.30pm in Oranmore Library.

Just up the main street in Armorica Restaurant ‘The Captured Palette’ art exhibition curated by Leonie King of Oranmore Castle will be revealed featuring works of artists and painters from the village.

The four day festival has been initiated by a newly formed voluntary arts organisation.

Rita Burke, Chair of the festival said: “In planning our first festival, we are delighted so many local creatives, artists and businesses have engaged with us. Events are being hosted by local businesses in a variety of spaces including restaurants, cafes, nightclubs, hotels and pubs in the village.

“We’re making the most of the spaces and we look forward to working with people who make Oranmore such a vibrant community.

“The festival is a conduit through which artists, businesses, families and the wider community can communicate and discuss projects. We can already see new collaborations forming and the festival is acting as a catalyst to encourage a new artistic energy in our village.”

The population of Oranmore is young and diverse and the programme includes a number of events for children including two performances of Branar’s ‘Woolly’s Quest’ on Sunday at 12.30 and 2.30pm in Kudos. There will be great demand for family events like the fairy door trail, art and craft workshops by Toodlelou Creativity Lab, storytelling by local author Rab Fulton and a Baby Disco for little ones to dance their wiggles out on Saturday afternoon at 3pm in Kudos.

Not forgetting the adults, there will be an Acoustic Music night at 9.30pm upstairs in the Porterhouse with musicians invited to bring their own instruments.

Unboxed takes place Friday night at 9.30pm upstairs in the Porterhouse, to which you can bring your own vinyl and play DJ for a song or two. Glynn’s pub will host Gerry Mulvihill, Mary Staunton and friends for a session from 9pm.

Some of the other events taking place over the four days, including a photography exhibition by Tomas Szumski in Brazco Café Carraig Láir, an art exhibition from Active in Age in Péarla na Mara restaurant, walking tours by the local Heritage Society, a film screening by local filmmaker Eamonn Dunne, a mural to be painted by the community in association with TidyTowns, and a live cake-build by local talent Corinna McGuire.

Visit www.oranmoreartsfestival.ie for more events, to book tickets and for further details.