Celebrating Our Community at the 20th annual Aisling Arts Festival

20th annual Aisling Children's Arts Festival kicks off this week

Jessica Thompson

Reporter:

Jessica Thompson

Email:

jessica.thompson@longfordleader.ie

It's been 20 years since a small committee in Longford got together to set up the very first Aisling Children's Arts Festival and look how far it's come since then.

This year's festival runs from October 21 to 27, with a programme bursting with artistic, theatrical and musical events for children of all ages to enjoy - and most of it is completely free.

"This year, the Aisling Festival is celebrating 20 years," said Chairperson of the festival, Marie Fennessey.

"It's a major achievement for any festival to last that long, so well done to all the festival committees down through the years, who kept the Festival going in good times and bad. We're delighted to have so many former committee members here tonight, so thank you all for coming."

Read more: First-rate programme of events lined up as Longford prepares for 20th Aisling Children Arts Festival

The theme of the Festival this year is 'Celebrating Our Community', and all of the events taking place between October 21 and 27 will reflect that.

"We're celebrating all the positive aspects of our community here in Co Longford. There's so much talent here in Co Longford - musical talent, dramatic talent, artistic talent and a wonderful community spirit. So let's celebrate it," said Ms Fennessy.

Entertainment at the launch was provided by Ballymahon musician, Katie Gallagher and this year's art competition winners were announced and presented with prizes kindly sponsored by Farrell & Coy.

Full details of the winners can be found on the Longford Leader website at www.longfordleader.ie.

For a number of years, the Aisling Children's Arts Festival has teamed up with the Longford Leader to produce a beautiful supplement featuring articles written by young people from three secondary schools from around the county.

This year's supplement has been written by the Transition Year students of Ballymahon Vocational School, Mean Scoil Mhuire and Árdscoil Phádraig, and can be found in the centre of this newspaper.

The supplement contains details of events happening throughout the Festival, interviews with important members of the local community and plenty more stories to get you into the spirit of the Festival.

Photos: Michelle Ghee