TULLAMORE’S Phoenix Arts Festival received a massive endorsement this week with Fáilte Ireland coming on as a major sponsor of the midlands’ largest family orientated festival.
Building upon the massive success of last year’s project, this year’s event promises to be even more entertaining and ground breaking with numerous new activities proposed for May 7 and May 8 in the Town Park.
The outline of the proposed events really highlights the renewed sense of community spirit and co operation that is rapidly spreading throughout the country. The proposed Food and Craft Fair in association with the Offaly Local Development Company will showcase local entrepreneurs and businesses showing initiative and vision in these days of gloomy economic outlook, promoting the high quality food and craft produce.
“The proposed Skate Jam is set to thrill us again with amazing feats and acts of bravery,” explained Cormac Lally, vice chair of this year’s festival. “If that still doesn’t arouse your spirit, one of only two 25 metre square stunt air bags in Europe is proposed to be set up at the bottom of the hill with BMX riders from all over the country dazzling us with their incredible stunts while landing safely in the suggested air bag.”
The proposed film tent will screen over 80 short films which will be shown continuously over the two days. The Random Tent in association with Fáilte Ireland will include talks from Offaly bee keepers, organic and sustainable development groups, International volunteering organisations, Just Forests, local writers, artists and others. The proposed Phoenix Tug of War challenge is accepting teams from local businesses, pubs and sports clubs to pull against each other. Other events like the open air theatre from TADS, the Book Swap, Kids Corner, Balloon Sculpture, exhibition of local artists work, Magic Show, Cubism, Face painting will give great colour and variety to the Festival.
The Bigtop Circus tent, provided by Charleville Castle Heritage Trust will provide cover to enjoy the best of Irish bands, with an amazing Aerialist display performing in rhythm to the bands and DJs, or take in the chilled out Phoenix Rising Acoustic stage with the cream of local musicians plying their wares. The Phoenix Project’s proposed Worry Temple will provide an emotive and spectacular end to the closing ceremony, along with the awesome skills of the Fire jugglers and Fire Show.
The festival voluntary fundraising team is currently calling to all businesses seeking support. Festival treasurer, Ciara Kinnarney explained, “Businesses can become a Friend of the Phoenix for €50, Patron of the Phoenix for €150 and Partner of the Phoenix can be tailored to suit the needs of the business. All supporters of the Phoenix are recognized in the official festival brochure and on the website.”
Loughnan Hooper, festival chairman stated, “Since the success of last year’s festival in the Town Park we have had a huge increase in the participation from the community, with many new suggested events and the support of an expansive team of volunteers. With the focus of the world’s media on Ireland and Offaly in the lead up to the visit of US President Barack Obama, Offaly has to make the most of this unique marketing opportunity.”
For full details on the Phoenix Arts Festival go to www.phoenixfestival.ie. Get involved in Phoenix 2011, It’s your festival.