Limerick takes Culture Night to heart with over 70 events

Alan Owens


Alan Owens

Culture Night launch: On Limerick Printmakers 'mobile printer' in the People's Park for the launch were Belle Reales from St Patricks NS, Grainne Murphy from LSAD, Stephanie Reilly, St Patricks NS and actor Simon Thompson. Picture: Alan Place
TWO great new projects will get a launch on Culture Night, which boasts over 70 free events taking place across the city and county.

TWO great new projects will get a launch on Culture Night, which boasts over 70 free events taking place across the city and county.

In the city, Limerick’s Urban Horse, a legacy project of City of Culture, will be launched, while the Hospital Shop Windows festival will also start on Friday week.

Over 70 events have been programmed for this year’s Culture Night, which sees arts and heritage venues throw open the doors to the public free of charge and with later than usual opening hours.

Taking place on Friday, September 19, a record number of free events for all ages will be held throughout the city and county over a five hour period and Sheila Deegan, arts and culture manager with City of Culture, said that Limerick has “taken Culture Night to its heart” in the six years it has been running.

“We were invited six years ago to be part of it and we took up the mantle,” she explained at the launch in the People’s Park this Monday, fresh from the highs of Royal de Luxe’s gigantic event over the weekend.

“Now we have over 70 events in six years and it is just a lovely family event. I know that last weekend has shown that families can really engage, but Culture Night always had that at a smaller level.

“You have all generations of people coming out to engage with a lot of venues, cultural organisations - some of which people don’t think about.

“What you encounter on Culture Night is something unexpected,” she added.

Over 50 venues across Limerick opened last year, with record crowds flocking to attend the many free events, more than 6,000 people in all and it is expected that numbers will increase again this year.

Two legacy projects of City of Culture will be launched on the night, including the Urban Horse project, developed by artist Angela Connolly, and That’s Limerick City, a pop-up people’s museum to be hosted in the Milk Market.

The former saw students in St Patrick’s National School work on one of the 15 horses created as a continuation of the Horse Outside project at the Hunt Museum.

“We thought about what would look good on a horse and came up with loads of sketches and we did lots of different types of drawings,” explained Miriam Gillman, teacher in St Patrick’s.

“We wanted to incorporate the school centenary, which is this year, into our design, and also our school crest. The girls had a great time putting it together.”

The horses will go on display in People’s Park on Culture Night and then move around Limerick, popping up in different places.

Jacki Hehir, who is running the Hospital Show Window festival that launches on Culture Night and runs until September 28, said she hoped the project would “actively involve the street and the town in the cultural festivities, bringing some of the City of Culture celebration to the county.

“We have 20 artists participating and exhibiting their work in 18 different venues,” she explained.

Limerick’s cultural quarter at John’s Square will host a massive showcase involving Dance Limerick, Limerick Youth Theatre, Fresh Film Festival and Music Generation, while Macnas will also put on a street theatre performance.

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