The Earagail Arts Festival is 21 years old this July and they are taking the party to the streets for the Carnival Parade in Letterkenny on Sunday 12th July, led by the award-winning Inishowen Carnival Group.
Artistic director Paul Brown says the parade will be a visual and musical extravaganza for the whole family, and will be followed by a huge “Village Fete” in the Town Park. “We want to celebrate our success in true Earagail Arts fashion, with a mix of style and cultures, and we’re delighted that so many local groups such as the Kegite Club and the Ghana Union are participating in the parade this year.”
“To mark our 21st Birthday we are very much going back to our roots this year,” says Paul. “Our 2009 programme – which runs from the 4th to the 19th July – features performers from across Donegal and one of the biggest names in Irish rock music The Stunning, who performed at our very first festival in 1989. This is alongside other Irish and international names like Mary Black, Bassekou Kouyate, and Waterson Carthy.”
Other programme highlights include theatre, music and dancing in City Theatre’s acclaimed Dancing At The Ballroom of Romance, the national sell-out stage play Tom Crean’s Antarctic Explorer, New Orleans jazz with The Hot 8 Brass Band, Drive-In Movies and Scottish singer songwriter Eric Bogle, on his last ever European tour!
Festival chairperson – and founder – Traolach Ó Fionnán says the programme offers an exciting mix of indoor and outdoor family events, music, theatre, art and workshops in 36 different venues across the county, including the islands of Tory and Arranmore. “In a large county with a big rural population we have always felt it was important to bring the festival to the people,” he says.
Martina Bromley, acting General Manager of Failte Ireland North West says “the Earagail Arts Festival is one of our flagship cultural events for Donegal. Its quality programme of events delivered throughout the county at venues ranging from beaches to modern art centres continues to delight visitors and is a showcase of the exceptional levels of talent within Co. Donegal.”
“The Earagail Arts Festival brings so much entertainment and fun to the county and it has helped put Donegal on the map,” says Neil Gallagher, general manager of the Ramada Hotel in Letterkenny – one of the festival’s main local sponsors. “We sponsor it because it brings so many visitors to the town and we hope our contribution can help the festival to develop.”