Conamara Sea Week is a multi-disciplinary festival, celebrating the wonderful marine heritage of Conamara. The festival celebrated its 30th birthday in 2014 and has grown to be a wonderful and unique festival with something to interest all age groups. The festival will kick off with the much loved family fun day on Sunday October 23, which will include kite flying, mini boat regatta and Connemara biggest book fair which will also feature Ballinakill Active Age Traditional Craft Club will sell their work in the Ellis Hall canteen.
The day kicks off at 1pm with some kite flying in the Connemara west centre. This is a magical event touching the hearts of young and old, as these young flyers explore the magic of flight. One of the highlights of the event is seeing adults having to run like young deer to get their childrens craft off the ground. A motley assemblage of kites will be on view on the day and a certain number of kites will be provided on the day, so that everybody can join in.
After the flying its then off to the Connemara National Park where young sailors will assemble to sail their amazing specially designed craft. Please remember that no boat can be bigger than 20cm but can be made from a variety of materials – let your imagination flow. Caption Simon Kennedy will be available to steer the boats home safely. This event starts at 2pm.
At 3pm, the Ellis Hall will come alive as book lovers of all ages assemble to get some winter reading. As well as an outstanding display of childrens literature we will also a have a large range of second hand books. A great day out for book worms of all ages. A new feature of the day will be a display and sale of crafts in the canteen. After all the browsing in Ellis Hall we hope that people will still have some energy left for the Killary Challenge which involves adults & children working in groups to carry out varies tasks set out by the Killary Adventure team. A big thank you to Mary and Jamie Young.
Of course as usual the day is wrapped in music which kicks off in Mollys at 5pm with legendary Don Stiffe and the amazing high energy Hernon Family. At 8pm its the Bright Sparks in the Gothic Church, Kylemore Abbey featuring some amazing young players and singers, three different genres of music – traditional, contemporary and classical. The music ends with the Screaming Blue Cats in Veldons – Rockabilly at it’s finest, so bring your dancing shoes.
Throughout the week we have a vibrant schools programme with Artist/Ecologist Gordon Darcy, Marine Biologist Dave McGrath, Ecologist Marie Louise Heffernan and story teller Nuala Hayes. This brilliant team will work with hundreds of Children during the week exploring our wonderful marine environment both in the classroom and in the field as field work is an integral part of the festival. “We want children to really experience their own place and field work is the ideal way to do this” says Gordan Darcy
The After the Light Project is now in its sixth year and is an integral part of the Conamara Sea Week Festival. It has been a great success bringing hundreds of people out into the night to celebrate the great energy and creativity now abounding in our village. This is a real family occasion involving the whole community – crèche, primary schools, Youthreach, GMIT, GRETB. The biggest night of the year in the village of Letterfrack.
The term ‘After the Light’ suggests that we are going for the high ground; that we aspire to excellence in all that we do. And while we acknowledge the darker sides of our history we are clearly marking the fact that ours is a vibrant, energetic and outward looking place, a place full of possibility. Of course ‘After the Light’ could also suggest that the light is gone and this gives us an opportunity to dive into the underworld as we get ready for Halloween. Kicks off at 7.30pm at Connemara West.
The action builds for the second weekend with the Active Age club lunch. A stylish lunch for the older and wiser members of our community in the beautiful Rosleague Manor with good company, great food and mighty music and song with Marcus Hernon and Don Stiffe. Thanks to Mark and the team.
Other festivals highlights include - reading in the National Park with Colin Barrett, cooking demo with local chef Jonathan Keane & Colin O’ Daly, superb concerts in Kylemores Gothic Church & some of the Ireland’s best musicians playing in the local pubs over two great weekends in Letterfrack – The Screaming Bluecats, The John Conneely Trio, Josephine Marsh, The Cajun Playboys, The Good Hustle, Conor Keane, Mary Staunton, are just some of the line up. For film buffs we have two good films ‘Atlantic’ by Risteard O Domhnaill and ‘Today’ by local man Tristane Heaune. They will be shown in the AV room in the park at 3.30pm Sunday 30th.
The festival finishes with ‘Tunes for Johnny’. On this day some of the finest trad musicians in the country will be coming with tunes that they have composed to honour the great Johnny Connolly – one of the greatest melodeon players of all time. Sunday 30th Mollys Bar 3.30pm.