All Set For Made in Darndale Summer Arts Festival

by Gazette Reporter
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Roll up, roll up for the very first Made in Darndale Festival, June 16-19! The streets, squares, and parks of Darndale will be bustling with music, song, story, circus, art, performance and so much more, in a dynamic, bright, and joyous cross-community celebration.

From art exhibitions, walking tours, street parades, aerial acrobatics and a Circus Big Top lead by Ringmaster John Connors, to family fun days, a celebration of Traveller culture and the first ever Darndale Dog Show, the entire community are invited to join together with local and visiting performers for the biggest celebration the village has ever seen!

The Made in Darndale Festival is the culmination of six months of community engagement, workshops and training and will be a mesmerising showcase of the talents, skills, hard work and determination of hundreds of members of the Darndale community. Made in Darndale is part of the Creative Places Darndale initiative, a three-year project to weave the arts into everyday life in Darndale, supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.

John Connors, Taylor Murphy 9, Charlie Christie 6, Nova Murphy 5 ,, Evie-Ray O’Reilly 6 and Lara Fitzsimons.

Speaking of Made in Darndale, Catherine Martin T.D., Minister of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media said: “The Made in Darndale Festival will be a spectacular celebration of the arts in all its guises from acrobatics to exhibitions and everything in-between and the Darndale community should be very proud of what it has achieved to date.”

Long-time supporter of the arts and the community of Darndale Lord Mayor of Dublin Alison Gilliland added ‘We hear and read about arts funding in communities, but we don’t always get to see the impact that this kind of grassroots investment has on people and place. Made in Darndale and the Creative Places Darndale initiative shows just how much engagement, joy, and positive energy can be created through arts participation in local communities. I am very much looking forward to visiting the festival and meeting many of Dublin’s most inspiring and creative people.”

Pictured practising their stilt walking are: Cole Mc Mahon, Addison Dowling and Sophie McDermott. For more info on the festival visit Pic: Marc O’Sullivan

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council of Ireland noted: “This is a brilliant opportunity for us to invest in Darndale.  We know that there is huge talent and potential in the area and we hope that people will see tangible benefits from this programme over the next three years.”  

Stephen Coughlan from Archways added: “The Made in Darndale Festival is an exciting opportunity for the community of Darndale to showcase its talents and build on its strengths.”

Dr Jack Nolan, Chair of the Darndale Economic and Social Plan Implementation Group, said the festival would promote the area in a positive light, as well as bringing great fun and colour.

The festival kicks off on Thursday June 16 at midday with the Darndale Parade, which sees young people from across the village join together to parade close to home and delight spectators with their incredible musicianship, dance moves and theatrical talents. A Pop-Up Circus Performance will take place at 1pm at the Bell Square afterwards.

Head to the Village Centre on Friday June 17 for a showcase of work by talented local artists at the Made in Darndale Arts Exhibition from 12pm. Then join renowned historian Pat Liddy at 2pm for an hour-long History of Darndale Walking Tour and discover the wealth of history that lies in the soil and stone of the village, which was once home to a grand house surrounded by farmlands. At 4.30pm the Village Centre plays host to Darndale Through the Years, a storytelling event that reveals the proud history, culture, and heritage of Darndale’s people and place.

Nova Murphy 5 , Taylor Murphy 9 , Lara Fitzsimons and Evie-Ray O’Reilly 6.5 with Teddy The Pug

The celebrations continue Saturday June 18 with the 11am launch of a very special Creative Places Darndale art project. The Interactive Mural, by artists Klo Wi and Zurdie from the all-female street art collective Minaw, will be located at the Spine Site behind Darndale Church. The whole community is invited to come along and see how the artwork develops throughout the festival. From 11am Darndale Park will be transformed into a vibrant Festival Village, with hours of free family fun including music and dance performances, games, art workshops, face painting and magic, something for all ages to enjoy, running until 2pm. The Bell Square is the place to be at 2pm, for a dazzling aerial dance performance from the roof of the Village Centre by performer Ria Murphy from Dublin’s Aerial Cirque. Get pampering those puppies! Yes, it’s the very first Darndale Dog Show, with your host Willie White, at Darndale Park from 3pm to 4.30pm, with great prizes for Darndale’s top mutts!

On Sunday June 19, The Interactive Mural at the Spine Site and Made in Darndale Arts Exhibition at the Village Centre will continue to run, while Darndale Park will host Festival Village: Traveller Arts & Culture from 11am to 2pm. Be part of an uplifting celebration of Ireland’s Traveller community, through crafts and workshops, storytelling, and performances. Hear the proud and ancient history and traditions of Travellers and visit the traditional Traveller caravan museum.

The Circus Big Top will be raised in Darndale Park for the Dare to be Darndale Carnival Cabaret! Local legend John Connors will take to the floor as Ringmaster extraordinaire and will lead local and visiting performers in a spectacle of entertainment, fun, aerial acrobatics, and circus feats!

For more on Made in Darndale Festival and Creative Places Darndale see

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