There was great colour and excitement in Aras an Chontae on Monday last for the launch of the 6th Hullabaloo Offaly’s Children’s arts festival. 26 Students from Scoil Mhuire in Tullamore came dressed to impress in traditional costumes from counties such as India, Bangladesh, Poland and Lithuania for a dance performance as part of the school group Dailtai.
The festival which takes place from October 31 to November 3 is packed with all sorts of workshops and performances for children aged 3 to 12 years. Taking place simultaneously in Birr and Clara, the midterm festival has lots to offer children, no matter what their interest; from beat boxing to puppet making, zombie dancing to origami there is plenty to fuel active imaginations.
At the festival launch origami artist George Dempsey gave a taste of his workshop with some of the students. As well as workshops there are lots of family events and performances, ones which have been developed especially for young audiences.
Speaking at the launch of the festival programme, Cllr Peter Ormond said “Offaly County Council is proud to have developed Hullabaloo Offaly’s Children’s Festival over the years and to have watched it become one of the highlights of Offaly’s cultural calendar. The festival embraces the idea that children are entitled to have their own access to culture and arts experiences that are made for them. Children matter. Their status and wellbeing speak volumes about the values and quality of life within any society.
“In Offaly we aspire for children to be respected as young citizens with a valued contribution to make and a voice of their own; where all children are cherished and supported; where they enjoy a fulfilling childhood and realise their potential. Hullabaloo embodies all of this.”
He thanked all the partners involved in developing the festival from the Arts and Library Services of Offaly County Council, Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, Clara Family Resource Centre, Clara Bog Visitors Centre and Scouts den, Tin Jug Studio and the artists who facilitate and perform at the festival.
The programme is available in schools and shops local to Birr and Clara, Clara FRC and Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, libraries, online www.offaly.ie or can be requested by phone 057 9357400.