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It's Carnival Parade time in Ballyshannon tonight

This year’s theme is ‘Away With The Fairies!’

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It's Carnival Parade time in Ballyshannon tonight

The annual carnival parade kicks off at 7.30pm today, Saturday. Photo: Amandine Photography

The much anticipated highlight of the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival, the annual Ballyshannon Carnival Parade, takes place this evening, Saturday, October 7th, from 7.30pm.

This year’s theme is ‘Away With The Fairies!’, as Ballyshannon’s most famous literary son, William Allingham (1824-1889), is celebrated in a Carnivalesque interpretation of his most famous and best loved poem, The Fairies.

On Carnival Night, the streets will be brought to life by Dark Daughter Productions, LUXe landscape theatre company, Workhouse Studios, Ballyshannon’s Unstoppable Street Band and Stagecraft, against a special carnival soundscape created by local electronic music wizard, Slowplacelikehome.

They will be joined by up to 200 performers including Transition Year students from Magh Éne College Bundoran and Coláiste Cholm Cille, Ballyshannon, as well as visiting students to Ireland from the Donegal Language School Study Abroad Programme, ID Languages and the Turf ‘n’ Surf USA Gap Year Students. Performers from many local adult community groups will also participate, including the Ernedale Heights Womens Group and the Adult Artists Group, who have participated with huge enthusiasm in workshops facilitated by Tom Meskell, Fidelma Flannely, Marie Loughlin, Stephanie Pawula, Niamh Currid, Corey McDermot and Michelle Bell.

The Carnival Finalé, ‘Where Fairies Play’, will take place appropriately enough on the William Allingham Bridge in the centre of town. Devised and produced by Maria Loughlin and directed by Michelle Bell for Dark Daughter Productions, the new dance drama piece will focus on the Thorn Tree and its magical fairy power, as referenced in Allingham’s poem. A Thorn Tree sculpture, created specially by Diarmaid Flaherty (of Blue Raincoat Theatre) will form the centrepiece of the drama and there will be music by Alain Finan and Niamh Currid with the Transition Year Drummers.

Please Note: Parking restrictions and traffic diversions will be in place along the parade route from 6pm to 9pm.