Sligo Fiesta has International Flavour

The 2012 Celtic Fringe Festival celebrates the culture of three Armada countries, Spain, England and Ireland. Like last year’s, the festival this year has a great mix of family entertainment with street events, food, music ,dance and more - all with a Spanish/Irish/English theme. The Festival is currently started yesterday in Grange village, North Sligo and continues through to Sunday..

The 2012 Celtic Fringe Festival celebrates the culture of three Armada countries, Spain, England and Ireland. Like last year’s, the festival this year has a great mix of family entertainment with street events, food, music ,dance and more - all with a Spanish/Irish/English theme. The Festival is currently started yesterday in Grange village, North Sligo and continues through to Sunday..

The event is inspired by the cultural connections between the maritime fringes of Europe touched by the Spanish Armada voyage. Along with a host of varied indoor and outdoor events, the festival features a real taste of the colour of Spain, England and Ireland. The weekend includes flamenco guitar and dance, English folk music and sword dancing, a major international symposium on the Armada, historical talks and walks and lots of food, street entertainment and family fun.

The centrepiece of the festival is an International Symposium on Saturday and Sunday with expert speakers on underwater archaeology and exploration of Armada wrecks off Ireland. This significant event will be officially opened by Mr Dinny McGinley ,Minister of State for Arts & The Gaeltacht. The two day symposium including food will only cost €35.

The exciting night time fiesta events will bring a host of superb English, Irish and Spanish artists to Grange for three wonderful evenings of music and dance. On Friday, the lively Dance Troika features the Sallyport Sword dancers from Yorkshire and Durham, one of Ireland’s foremost dancers Brian Cunningham and from sunny Cadiz, the Flamenco dancer Fatima Lucia.

Saturday’s Classical Interlude features relaxing music with Dermot Dunne and Romanian Adrian Mantu on accordion and cello at the Teahouse Drumcliffe, followed by complementary tapas courtesy of Drumcliffe Teahouse. Captain Drake’s English folk night features two BBC award winning English folk groups. From the renowned band Bellowhead, Sam Sweeney is joined by the amazing singer, instrumentalist and clog dancer Hannah James who performs with the legendary Maddy Prior of Steeleye Span. Also, Moss, Moore and Rutter winners of BBC’s Young Folk Act 2011 start out what promises to be an unmissable folk show. Three top class Irish trad acts will play out the festival on Sunday - Michael Rooney, the Bonnymen and Teaspach.

Free music is provided by the local pubs in the Grange Session Trail on Saturday from 5pm to late.

The healthy outdoor life will be well catered for with a series of walks, one at 7pm this evening on Streedagh beach in aid of the Sligo Hospice. Sunday is the big outdoor activity day, starting with the De Cuellar Trek while the village of Grange will be turned into one large fiesta with street entertainment, food marquee, parade and gig rig.

Information and tickets on the festival at the festival website www.celticfringefest.com and at venue doors.