Halloween with a difference for Clonakilty

Newly formed artist collective  will resurrect the creative spirit that lingers in the town of Clonakilty, bringing the ancient legends and myths of Samhain onto the streets of Clonakilty in a grand street parade. The parade takes place 4th November at 19.00 from Astna Square in Clonakilty, ending in an incredible visual and musical performance at Emmet Square.
Under the theme ‘Extinct Ireland’, the group will parade through the town in traditional masks and ancient costumes, inspired by the animals, culture and traditions of a time long distant but not forgotten. The parade will move to the sound of warrior drum rhythms, punctuated by the ancient sound of Celtic horns and the otherworldly siren songs of a choir and musician ensemble.

The event is being supported by the Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce. Chairperson Cllr Christopher O’Sullivan said this could be the event to “bring back the craic”. He continued, “I remember the magic that Craic na Coillte brought to our streets when I was a kid. I am delighted that Geata Arts are bringing back those incredible vibes. The town is bursting with creative talent. This parade will be the perfect way to showcase that talent. I hope children and adults alike fill the streets to enjoy the spectacle. We a the chamber are delighted to support the event.”

This is a non-profit, collaborative community event and all support is very welcome. The group is looking for volunteers to take part in the parade and help with stewarding and also to assist in these final weeks creating props and floats, making costumes etc.

Updates and final programme will be posted on the Samhain 17 event page on Facebook and the website www.geataarts.org

Anyone who remembers Clonakilty in the 1980’s and 90’s will know the terrific antics of Craic na Coillte who brought the town to life every time they took to the streets with their Giant Dragons, Fire blowers and incredible creations. The group became so succesfull that they toured the country with their diverse performers and went on to rival the internationally renowned Macnas from Galway.

The ancient Celtic festival of Samhain has unique cultural significance in Ireland, and was one of the most important events on the Celtic calendar. It was the transition into the darker, colder months of the year and for a brief moment, a time when the dead and beings of other worlds would walk amongst the living.

“It’s amazing to feel the excitement grow as more and more people get involved and it really begins to take shape,” says Ronan McLoughlin, one of the local parade organisers.

An important part of the festival is the Shrine of Remembrance located in Spillers Lane – a woven willow structure that everyone is invited to visit and leave a message or offering to loved ones who have passed on or to witness what others have left. It will be open from Saturday next.

The group has quickly generated a massive amount of interest in the West Cork town. With over a hundred people scheduled to parade through the streets, Geata Arts has already demonstrated the desire in many to return to a traditional, non-commercial and more inclusive festival spirit.

For more information or to volunteer contact Mark on 083 4533241 or email samhain@geataarts.org.

We can’t wait to see you at the Parade!