It’s that time of year again when the Aisling Children’s Arts Festival hits the towns and villages of Co Longford. The festival, which encourages children to gain a better understanding of, and more appreciation for, the arts world, takes place from October 23-29 and there is a fun filled, jam packed schedule of events. The work of local author and poet, Padraic Colum will also be recognised by the festival this year and ‘The Adventures of the King of Ireland’s Son’ will be performed at Backstage Theatre on Friday October 28 and Saturday, October 29 next at 3pm. Admission is €5.
During the festival’s official launch last Thursday night at the Longford Arms Hotel, where children from around the county were presented with awards in the now famous art competition; President, Longford Chamber of Commerce Seamus Butler said, “Aisling creates a vision for Longford, a vision that we can all be proud of; it’s about confidence and I see a great future for the children of Longford”.
The overall winner Cian Clancy (8), Clondra NS was also presented with a framed picture of his entry.
His drawing, full of colour and depicting a carnival event was admired by all who viewed it.
“I started off drawing the artist in the centre and I wanted to make it about a festival, so I decided to put in a theme park,” he explained. “There is a funfair with all the things that I like when I go to a funfair; the fire-eater, ice-cream and the big wheel.”
In this year’s 12-14 section of the art competition, 12 year old Sara Rashid took the second prize with her drawing which depicted a stage performance.
“I have a couple dancing in the middle of the stage and there are curtains on either side which are red and purple,” she said, adding that the “light effect” on the couple complemented the drawing’s colour scheme. “The stage is 3D as well. I really enjoyed drawing this and I love the Aisling Children’s Arts Festival. The idea for the drawing came to me when I was reading a book and I saw this lovely drawing and decided to draw the image myself.” Sarah also told the Leader that while she likes to win and enjoys performing, she intends to become a doctor when she grows up.
In the Special Category, the winning enter from 12 year old Niamh Rushe, St Christopher’s NS was also proudly on display.
“I love drawing,” Niamh told the Leader. “My picture is about smiling faces, it is my family.” Following on from the prize giving ceremony, a magician performed magic tricks for all the children and Niamh was lucky enough to have been chosen as the magician’s assistant during one of his performances!
“I loved the magician and I was picked to be his assistant, I liked that,” she smiled. “I do colouring in school and my teachers Jean and Teresa help me.”
Five year old Niamh Grier, Aughnagarron NS won first prize in the 3-5 category. “ “My favourite colour is red and that is why I coloured my castle red,” she explained. “Mrs Smith is my teacher and she helps me with colouring.”
All winners in the art competition included: 3-5: 1st Niamh Grier (Aughnagarron NS), 2nd Heidi Hertrige (Melview NS); 6-8: 1st Emily Kane (Aughnagarron NS), 2nd Miska Macko (Stonepark NS); 9-11: 1st Wiktoria Rozel (St Joseph’s NS), 2nd Karina Patmalniece (St Jospeh’s NS); 12-14: 1st Kamil Rozel (St Michael’s NS), 2nd Sara Rashid; Special Category: 1st Niamh Rushe (St Christopher’s NS), 2nd Niall Murphy (St Christoper’s NS); Overall Winner: Kalyie Cullen (Stonepark NS). Check out www.aislingfestival.ie for more details.