The poet Orfeo and the mischievous god Pan can roam the streets of Galway this weekend in search of fun and mischief as the Galway City Council has granted an event licence for the Macnas parade.
At Monday’s city council meeting, councillors were asked to approve granting an event licence for the Macnas parade which will be held as part of the Galway Arts Festival. The motion was passed unanimously.
The parade, entitled Orfeo and directed by Noeline Kavanagh, takes place on Sunday at 10pm, starting at the Spanish Arch before moving on to Flood Street, Merchants Road, Lower Abbeygate Street, William Street, Eglinton Street, Francis Street, the Salmon Weir Bridge, and onto the Fisheries Field.
The parade’s main character Orfeo is based on the mythological poet Orpheus. In the Greek story Orpheus travelled down into Hades in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue his dead wife Eurydice. For Macnas, Orfeo must travel to the Galway ‘underworld’ to rescue the god Pan and convince him to stop moping around hell, come back to earth, and start living it large around town!
Orfeo will be a 17 feet high creation striding the Galway streets looking for Pan and then taking him around tow,n and in the process encouraging Galwegians to have one hell of a night out.
As well as Orfeo and Pan there will be wonderful contraptions like the ‘Ranting Poets’ stand and ‘The Musicians Tower’ which are made up of sections of different bicycles, long iron poles, pots, pans, lampshades, and scraps of metal, that culminate in a little platform at the top for a performer to stand on.
There will also be animals, such as a horse, a hare, and a giant Irish elk, made up of pieces of hazel and willow, twisted into wickerwork body frames, covered with tissue paper and other materials.
Many of the performers will be holding candles while the creatures will be illuminated internally through torches and other battery operated light sources, creating a haunting, supernatural look to these giant beasts roaming the streets.