Tripping the light show fantastic in Listowel
IT’S A GLOWING REPORT FOR FIRST EVER FESTIVAL OF LIGHT AS IT CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF ALL
THINK Ireland’s Tidiest Town simply couldn’t look any better? Think again.
Listowel’s inaugural Féile an tSolais cast the parklands and streetscape in a brilliant new light and captured the public imagination in no uncertain way.
Witness the crowds in a Garden of Europe utterly transformed by light on Friday and Saturday night. Hundreds flocked down to gaze in wonder at the Forest of Light, one of the highlights of the new festival.
They were greeted by a warming palette of blues, greens and reds washing across the trees and statuary of a park established to promote a sense of European identity among the public.
The reaction was more than any of the organisers had hoped for – not least local lighting technician Paul O’Connor, who originally thought of the whole event. Along with a group of creative young locals, he brought it all into being to perfection over the weekend with events taking place across town – from quiet projections of stunning images on St Mary’s Church; to the Poetica Illumina screening local poets reciting their work on the Dandy Lodge at the Town Park; and much, much more.
It all culminated in a fantastic lantern parade from the Community Centre into the Garden of Europe aka Forest of Light on Saturday night – with just enough time before the weather broke for locals to lap up the stunning spectacle.
Paul told The Kerryman the public reaction far exceeded the organising committee’s expectations: “We couldn’t get over the crowds in the Garden of Europe on the Saturday night with the public coming down in droves as word spread of the light show.”
Most were there in time to welcome the lantern parade in, as scores walked through the park bearing fantastic papier-maché models of everything from swans to giant globes, all glowing from within. They had been created in recent weeks and months in workshops, led by local artist Olive Stack.
“It all went great until the heavens opened, but fortunately we had enough time to enjoy it all in a great outdoor finale to the Festival of Light,” Paul said.
“The feedback we have been getting has been extraordinary, with everyone enjoying the whole event from the Upon Quiet Projection events at St Mary’s; to the Poetica Illumina at the Dandy Lodge; the special workshops and more.”
Such was the success that the committee is already starting to plan for next year, meeting shortly to work towards an even bigger event in 2019. They are looking for help – just call Martin on (087) 194 6973 to lend a hand.
Exploring the magical light show at the Garden of Europe were, below left, Celia O’Mahony with twins Laura and Sinead O’Sullivan Murphy; and Éanna O’Sullivan enjoying the world of light-filled wonder.
Madeleine O’Sullivan with grandchildren Pádraig and Róisín O’Sullivan in a magically transformed Garden of Europe at the Festival of Light on Friday.
Listowel’s youngest in a state of wonder within the striking profile of John B Keane as it pulsated in colour during the Forest of Light spectacle at the Garden of Europe.