A POPULAR Limerick city arts festival is back for its 13th consecutive year.
Traders in Roches Street in the city centre have officially opened their annual festival.
It sees traders put works by new and established artists on display in their windows.
While shopping, people on the street will see a piece of art alongside the other products each trader sells.
If interested, they can go in and bid for the artwork, with 25% of the proceeds split between Mid-West Spina Bifida and Limerick Marine Search and Rescue.
As well as traditional paintings - including a photo montage of Paul O’Connell and a beautiful riverside view of the city - there are also a number of installations, most notably at Helene Modes, which has reopened for the fortnight.
The clothes shop, which closed due to trading difficulties, is to play host to an ‘Urban Horses’ installation by artist Angela Connolly
Other artists who are donating pieces this year include Tom Greaney and Paul Weeraskera, both of whom have agreed to donate all the proceeds from their sales.
More than €100,000 has been raised for charities in the years since the popular festival kicked off.
Comedian Pat Shortt officially launched the festival at a special reception in Serendipity shoe shop on Monday night, and recalled a period of his life when he was a regular visitor to Roches Street.
“I have such fond memories of Roches Street. From the mid-1980s, I learnt the saxophone in Roches Street at Peter Dee’s School of Music. Then I came to art college here in Limerick, and I used to fall up and down Roches Street, as it were,” he said.
He praised the initiative of the traders.
“I think what is going on is a wonderful thing. Roches Street is a central artery in Limerick. There is a great community vibe here, and it has been going for a number of years,” he said.
On Saturday, the mid-way point of the festival will be marked with a street party.
The Roches Street junction with Catherine Street will be closed up as far as the junction with O’Connell Street. Dancers, musicians and choirs will fire the street party which runs between 10am and 2pm this Saturday.