If you’re looking to experience authentic Irish culture and heritage in the heart of the northwest, Culture Night Letterkenny is a great place to start.
Culture Night takes place across Ireland on Friday 22nd September and the 2017 Culture Night Letterkenny programme offers 39 diverse events across 24 venues, all celebrating Donegal’s unique local cultural identity.
This year’s programme delivers a night-time experience of all types of culture from visual art, music, theatre, sculpture to spoken word, dance, moving image and much more. Your trail through Culture Night Letterkenny will lead you all over the town, with indoor and outdoor events in diverse places from the Donegal County Museum to the Letterkenny Town Park taking in The Swell Festival, North West Words and the Cathedral Quarter along the way. You can explore all sorts of happenings in the Regional Cultural Centre, An Grianán Theatre, The Central Library and Donegal County Council Heritage Office, as well as other locations across the town. Here are our top five unmissable events at Culture Night Letterkenny:
FUN FOR ALL THE FAMILY AT LETTERKENNY TOWN PARK
(Series of events starting from 6pm)
There’s a number of events happening at Letterkenny Town Park and one of the key highlights of Culture Night Letterkenny includes The Inishowen Carnival Group who will present The Ancient Ones, spirits plucked from the pages of ancient Irish mythology. This walkabout and dance performance will feature performers from across Donegal with the Aisling Academy and Dynamic Waves, along with two immense puppets. Come and meet Dagda the Forest Spirit, a half-stag / half-human symbol of life and fertility and The Morrigan Crow Spirit, a symbol of fate, death and the eternal cycle of life. Performances at 7.30pm & 9pm.
Another great family event includes The SpaceScape team from 6 – 10pm. The SpaceScape team led by artists Seamus MacManus & Siobhán cranachans will present an outdoor illuminated art installation inspired by the peaks of Donegal.
Children’s Workshops will run from 6pm – 9.30pm in the Letterkenny Town Park and families are invited to co-create the Town Park experience this year. Facilitating artists will deliver art-making sessions in our special arts and crafts tent throughout the evening. Come and make illuminated lanterns and sculptures to guide your adventures through the park. Presented by Donegal County Council Arts Service.
Wholegreen, a predominantly vegan wholefood café, is hosting an exciting event for cultural foodies. The café, located on the Church Lane, Letterkenny, makes incredible fresh food and this year they will open their doors and introduce their culinary arts to culture night explorers. Don’t miss the chance to take part in cookery demonstrations, cupcake making and much more. Check it out from 6 – 9pm.
TRADITIONAL IRISH MUSIC SESSION
To get lost in music and culture, we highly recommend visiting The Dry Arch Bar for a special evening of music. Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Lettterkenny in conjunction with the Donegal County Museum, will present a ‘Night of Traditional Music, Song and Dance’ which will feature a performance by the branch’s Senior Grúpa Ceoil. The Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann Letterkenny branch has been in existence since 1957 and hosts a weekly traditional session on Tuesday nights at the Dry Arch Bar. This event takes place from 8 – 10pm and all are welcome.
As part of this year’s Culture Night Letterkenny, North West Words will present Irish language writer and poet Prionsias Mac a’Bhaird, and poet and regular national radio contributor Denise Blake, in a special Culture Night double bill.
Proinsias Mac a’Bhaird’s reading will begin at 8pm followed by a short traditional music session. Proinsias is the author of 10 books in Gaelic including 3 collections of poetry. He has won many awards and has been published widely in literary journals. He also founded An Chart Felica and is finishing his latest novel and will have a children’s book published this year.
Denise Blake will read at 9.15pm, followed by an ‘Open Mic’. Denise’s poetry collections, Take a Deep Breath and How to Spin Without Getting Dizzy, are published by Summer Palace Press. Her third collection will be published soon by Revival Press. Denise is also a regular contributor to Sunday Miscellany on RTE Radio 1.
This not-to-be-missed spoken word event takes place at Florence Food Company, 63 Upper Main Street, Letterkenny from 8pm – 9pm and 9.15pm – 10.15pm.
THE LETTERKENNY DEBATES
The Letterkenny Debates group was founded in 2012 to promote the heritage of Letterkenny. They have published magazines, created a heritage trail and organised heritage weekends. The title of their Culture Night debate is “What did the Urban District Council / Town Council ever do for us?” Participants; Tom Crossan, Kieran Kelly and Pat McArt. Don’t miss this unique event in Dillon’s Hotel, Letterkenny at 7.30pm.