Getting ready for the Samhain festival are Elli Smalis and Kate Hodmon Picture: Dave Gaynor
LIMERICK is gearing up for a spook-tacular bank holiday weekend, with the city’s first ever Halloween festival.
Many of the free events on offer are already booked out – but luckily, there is still plenty for visitors to do, with a big parade forming the centre-piece of the three-day Samhain celebration.
It all gets under way at 6pm this Thursday, with Michael Fortune giving a presentation in FabLab, Rutland Street on the origins of Halloween.
Meanwhile, two of the most high profile events take place on Friday and Saturday.
A Night Swim, run by Swimmable Limerick takes place from the Curragower Boat Club, allowing people to take to the River Shannon as darkness falls.
And this Saturday, at 6.30pm from the front of City Hall, a parade of light will take place.
Martin Shannon, Lumen Street Theatre, says they have been working with schools and community groups to produce some lanterns and other effigies for this event, which will finish at the Curragower Slipway in Clancy Strand.
Up to 100 lanterns will be released into the River Shannon, providing a spectacular vista on the dark October night, with the aim to “banish the darkness and remember the souls of loved ones”.
“We have done three workshops now, including a bit of work in St Michael’s School, St Mary’s National School and a lantern workshop with the Daughters of Charity. Tomorrow, we will be going to the Limerick School Project. All their work will be in the parade. The lanterns we are making are a simplified version of our sculptures. But we are using the same scale,” he said.
Martin added: “It’s gone really successfully. We have 60 people signed up for the swim, even though we can only put 40 people in the water, we have 20 on our waiting list”.
The final day of the festival will also see a shadow puppet workshop taking place in City Hall, followed by a dress rehearsal for the main parade later that night.
The festival has got off the ground thanks to funding from metropolitan councillors.
Organisers hope this is the first of many Samhain festivals.
For more information, telephone 087-2240182, or search for the festival through Facebook.