By Noel Dundon
The annual Halloween Arts Festival in Thurles will take place from October 28th-31st with plenty of activities planned for all the family.
The 2010 affair was an outstanding success and saw Thurles enter the Guinness Book of Records for having the single biggest number of people dressed up in Halloween costumes in one location. And, the race will be on again to better that record, which was subsequently beaten in the US.
The organising committee of the Festival, which is spearheaded by Cllrs Jim Ryan and David Doran, made the brave decision to move a portion of their usual activities to the summer time - the Summer Arts Festival was born. But, a commitment was given to continue the Halloween festival which has grown to be a major success in the town and has provided a real focal point for people over the Halloween period.
Chairman of the committee Cllr. Jim Ryan told The Tipperary Star this week, “We have a lot of activities planned for the few days and one thing we are guaranteeing in that there will be something for everyone. We all enjoyed the festivals over the last few years and they have grown year on year, so much so, that they run very smoothly now. We have used the experience gained to improve every aspect of the festival and we are really looking forward to a great one again this year. We would encourage people to get involved and embrace the festival,” he said.
The whole thing kicks off on Friday 28th with a screening of the Rocky Horror Show at the Source. Saturday 29th will see an U-11 Street League soccer tournament played in the Peake Villa Grounds at Loughtagalla; and on Sunday there will be Halloween themed workshops for 5-10 year olds which will foces on witches brooms, decorations, lanterns and masks. Entry to these workshops will be just 5 Euro with the venue to be announced later.
On Sunday evening there will be a Halloween themed Fancy Dress party in the Liberties Pub in Liberty Square, and on Monday evening - the Bank Holiday - there will be a street parade kicking off from Parnell Street at 6:00pm and heading through Liberty Square, Cathedral Street, Mitchel Street and up to Thurles Rugby Club where the Guinness Book of Records attempt will take place at approximately 6:45pm. Here it will be party time with fire juggling, magic shows, face painting, bouncy castles and live music running until 8:00pm. The whole festival will culminate with a spectacular fireworks display with time to relax at last for TJ Shelly, Pat Dunican, Ellen Martin, Pat Carey and Charles Martin - the other members of the committee.
“A lot of work goes into organising all the events and to help with the costs, we are holding a bag pack in the coming weeks. People have been very generous with their support for the festival - without their help, it simply could not go ahead. This is a community driven event and we would love as many members of the community as possible to get involved and enjoy it,” Cllr Ryan said.
Further details on the festival can be viewed at www.thurleshalloweenfestival.com or on Facebook at Thurles Halloween Arts Festival.