Trip­ping the light show fan­tas­tic in Lis­towel


The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - NEWS -

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.

Pho­tos by Dom­nick Walsh James and Kar­ley May O’Con­nor be­hold a bright and very close moon.

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.

Pho­tos by Dom­nick Walsh

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.

Photo by Dom­nick Walsh

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