The rain over the weekend certainly didn't dampen the spirits of local artists, musicians and talented youths as Cruthú Arts Festival kicked off in Longford town.
The festival was a huge success this year, with almost every event selling out over the weekend.
“Overall it was a great weekend,” said a delighted Shane Crossan, who is the Chairperson of Cruthú Arts Festival.
“I spent most of the weekend at Square Eyes,” he added, referring to the ambitious youth art project, which took place in the marquee at the Market Square and saw young people showcase their various creative talents.
“It was great that it turned out so well. I was worried that we wouldn't have enough young music to fill the whole day but we had more than we could cope with.
“That was the first time that we had the marquee for the festival and it created a real presence in the town.
“The outside of it had signage and posters which drew people in. It really gave the festival a pulse.”
Across the weekend, a number of street art projects took place, attracting a large amount of interest.
“The street murals were fantastic and were really well-received,” said Shane.
For example, he added, the little laneway known locally as 'Razor Blade Alley' was bursting with colour as part of the festival.
“The artwork there really turned a negative place into a very positive place,” said Shane.
“Which is exactly what we wanted. We succeeded in doing what we set out to do.”
There was a constant flow of people through the town over the weekend, attending a number of popular literary, music, theatre and art events, which, according to Shane, was a huge boost for the town.
“We asked all the publicans and local business-owners if they got a bounce from the festival and they all said that they did.
“Maybe 80% of the festival itself was made up of local artists and local musicians. That's a strong point for the festival. That's its backbone.”
Best of all, almost every one of the events sold out over the four days, proving just how popular the festival is locally.
Naturally, there were a few challenges. The weather, for example, hasn't been great lately but those involved certainly didn't let a little rain dampen their spirits.
And, unfortunately, one of the major musical events of the festival - a gig by popular Irish musician Áine Cahill - was cancelled last minute as Áine had fallen ill and could not attend.
“So it was still a brilliant gig and it still sold out. We had a lot of good luck for that to happen.”
Overall, the festival was a huge boost for Longford town and county, showcasing the sheer amount of talent there is to be found locally - especially among our young people.
For more on the festival, follow our coverage on www.longfordleader.ie, or visit www.cruthuartsfestival.com.
Photos by Shelley Corcoran