Galway prepares to ignite in celebration as spectacular European Capital of Culture opening ceremony approaches.
President to officially launch the largest and most complex series of cultural events to ever occur on the island of Ireland.
Galway 2020 European Capital of Culture has begun this week with a series of events throughout the county, which will culminate in a spectacular, fire-lit Opening Ceremony at South Park in Galway City on Saturday 8th February and Sherry FitzGerald are delighted to be a corporate partner of the celebrations. Tony Kavanagh Sherry FitzGerald commented “The Capital City of Culture 2020 puts a well deserved regional, national and international focus on our beautiful city and a chance for all to enjoy the delights it offers.”
Events began on Sunday when a mass of flame and sound flooded the town of Clifden in a special community cast procession, culminating in the lighting of the town sphere, which will join with those of other towns in Galway city on Saturday evening. Fiery celebrations took place in the towns of An Spidéal, Tuam, Ballinasloe, Portumna and Athenry over five nights. Events will conclude in Galway City on Saturday when a huge cast of drummers, chanters and other participants will join together at South Park, the expanse of headland facing out to the sea near the city, for the spectacular open-air finale.
President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins will be joined by Ireland’s poets, artists and musicians for a once in a lifetime experience of fire and flame for the opening of Galway’s year as European Capital of Culture 2020.
The ceremony, which has been imagined as a timeless and authentic celebration of the people and traditions of Galway and Ireland, will be delivered in a largescale dramatic explosion of sound and vision. The ambitious programme takes place across the villages, towns, islands and the city of Galway, and in recognition of Ireland’s historic traditions, is based around the four fire seasons of Ireland’s ancient Celtic calendar; Imbolc, Bealtaine, Lughnasa and Samhain.
Seven hand-carved steel sculptures, the town spheres, each reflecting the stories and traditions of the Galway town they represent will be transformed by flame into giant glowing orbs and will light up the length of the Galway headland overlooking Galway Bay. Galway’s renowned red sailed fishing boats, known as the Galway hookers, will assemble illuminated in the bay.
Galway has been included in the top 20 National Geographic Traveller’s Guide must-see destinations Cool List 2020’ and The Lonely Planet have recommended Galway as one of its ‘Top Ten Cities to visit in 2020 so if you haven’t made it to this beautiful part of Ireland yet, now’s your chance!
Gates open at 4pm and entertainment begins at 5pm with performances by Róisín Elsafty, Amazing Apples and No Crows. There will be appearances by Máirtín O’Connor, Seamie O’Dowd and Zoe Conway. Rofi James will close the show.
You should plan to arrive in plenty of time so that you find a space and are ready for the main event which starts at 6pm. The approximate end time is 7.45pm.