43rd Annual Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival

The 43rd Annual Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival will take place from Friday 5th to Friday 12th August.  During that week the town of Birr will welcome locals and visitors, old friends and new to enjoy the historic atmosphere of this beautiful Georgian Heritage town.  Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival is one of Ireland’s longest running and most successful festivals and is the highlight in Birr and Offaly’s calendar of cultural events.  Its all-inclusive programme of entertainment appeals to a wide audience – visitors and locals are invited to step back in time by enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Birr; its history and heritage, and to revel in its contemporary culture with a dynamic range of vintage and modern events throughout the Festival Week.

The Opening Weekend sees a number exciting events taking place including the Official Opening of the Visual Arts Trail 2011, the launch of the Flower FestivalOur Heritage Town”, the Olde Time Traditional Fair, the Ormond Flying Club’s Annual Fly-In, the Artisan and Craft Market and the welcome return of the AIB Photojournalism Exhibition.

One of the Festival highlights, the Vintage Parade promises fantastic family entertainment, transforming sleepy Sunday streets into a carnival of vintage cars, engines and bikes, horses and carriages, floats, a wonderful array of music and street theatre for all ages to enjoy.

Since the Festival began the Arts have played a central role.  This year’s Visual Arts Trail 2011 features over 50 visiting and local artists showcasing work in all media. Exhibitions are located across town in non-traditional spaces; with lots of artistic surprises in shop windows too! Dance performances, creative writing workshops & readings, artist talks and craft workshops are also featured.

Theatre lovers are encouraged to don their tennis whites on opening night and be fascinated by the strange and wonderful tale of Love All at Wilmer Tennis Club. Highly entertaining lunchtimes are planned at Birr Theatre & Arts Centre with productions of Melody and Dinner for One.

The 42nd Annual Antique & Fine Art Fair has been a central part of the Festival since its launch in 1969. Furniture, silver, porcelain, clocks, garden furniture, jewelry, linen and pictures will be on display and for sale for three days during the Festival.

A number of Free Children’s Events will take place whilst Sporting enthusiasts are also well catered for.  Music lovers have a wide and varied programme of events ranging from the classical to modern including Jack L, a Busking competition, the Good Old Days of Music Hall,  an evening with John Spillane, a performance by the Irish Chamber Ensemble and the eagerly awaited return of our Festival friends; brass band Fanfare Piston.  There is also a great selection of lunchtime concerts along with nightly entertainment in local pubs throughout the Festival Week.

For those interested in matters historical, there will be an illustrated talk on Crinkle Barracks and a guided historical walk of the town.  A number of Free Children’s Events will take place whilst Sporting enthusiasts are also well catered for.  Family entertainment also includes the Donkey Derby, the Gig Rig with live music and entertainment and of course the spectacular Fireworks Display which lights up the skies above the town.

With annual favorites and new events, vintage flavour and modern entertainment throughout, the 43rd Annual Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival promises to be an exciting and vibrant festival celebrating Birr’s remarkable heritage and culture, inspiring participation & enjoyment in everyone who makes the effort to come out & sample the events.

For further information on the Festival please contact 087-9226961 or check out www.birrvintageweek.com.

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