Sunday 29th September: Puppet Theatre, Céilí, Street Party, Night Parade and more.
This was a special day for Skerries – the finale of the tenth Soundwaves festival, and the unveiling of the Sea Memorial, including the visit of an tUachtarán. Here are our observations about the Soundwaves events of this special day. A puppet show, a Céilí, and the Street Party with its arts exhibition, volunteers’ corner, the Rock Trailer and the Musical Oasis – and then of course the parade and fireworks that ended another Soundwaves festival! Let’s take these one by one.
Banyan Puppet Theatre
A picnic hamper, no, two. A camping chair. A tent. A man with a guitar, and a woman who makes kitchen towels and wooden spoons come alive to tell the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears in a way that has her audience enthralled – and not just the little ones! Story-telling at its finest. No wonder the puppet shows were sold out.
The magic of the performance lingered on afterwards, as the children went into the sunshine of the September day, and many of them took the opportunity to give baby bear a goodbye hug.
In the afternoon, Banyan showed Little Red Riding Hood, and again the children and adults loved it.
Carol Cousins, one of our Yellow Shirts, writes: It was gentle and imaginative and all were engrossed as the storyteller weaved her magic, bringing the story of little red riding hood to life with beautifully crafted and surprising props. The live music which accompanied her added to the enjoyment of the performance. Despite the shouts from the children of ‘chop off his head’ – all were satisfied with the vegetarian-friendly ending!
This is possibly the closest any of us will ever get to Dancing at the Crossroads –the annual céilí just outside the church, with local traditional musicians playing the tunes and expert dancers leading beginners and amateurs through the steps.
Marie Byrne, who covered the event as a photographer, writes: Lovely sunny Sunday morning as people poured out of the church and waited in anticipation of some entertainment. Ernestine breezed in in her Dayglo jacket and, with Mary Keane, got the Ceili underway in jig time. Between them they chivvied onlookers into stepping forward and throwing a few shapes on the “dancefloor”. The dancers were having such fun that their numbers quickly grew – young and the young-at-heart. Five very fine musician had the crowd foot-tapping and clapping so much so that An tUachtarán, after his dedication of the maritime memorial, stopped for a brief while to enjoy the scene.
Definitely an event to put on your “Not to be missed next year”-list, it seems!
The Street Party
Skerries loves a Street Party! Year after year, people come out and enjoy the atmosphere, the information stalls, the craft fair, the food, the buskers, the activities for the children and the special events. This year, we were once more lucky with the weather, and so those interested could look at arts and crafts, sample food, browse the Town Twinning and the Soundwaves stall with its popular Lego corner.
The Transition Year students, who had been involved so much in this year’s Soundwaves festival, encouraged other children to lie down on the ground and have their outline drawn, which the kids themselves then painted and decorated.
A big favourite was the rock-climbing wall. Children queued and queued to have a go, and it was great to watch, too.
Skerries Educate Together once more had a great stall, braiding children’s hair and encouraging people to have a go at their Wheel of Fortune.
One of the things I regret not having seen (as I was at the Soundwaves stall) is the Video Installation / Art Exhibition – in a private house. Cleo Fagan once more opened her own residence to the Skerries festival goers and put on an art exhibition which was far from ordinary. It was, actually, a video installation based on the work of the Finnish artist Pilvi Takala. And Cleo has provided us with a quick report, too! She writes:
“The Pilvi Takala exhibition The Trainee went really well. We had about 30 / 40 visitors – almost all stayed and engaged with the work from beginning to end which took about 15 minutes. ‘Thought provoking. Different. Interesting’ were the most commonly used adjectives in describing the work by exiting visitors. Thanks to all who came and thanks to Soundwaves and Skerries for your enthusiasm and interest. Thanks to Pilvi Takala for sharing her work. For those who would like to explore more Pilvi’s website is www.pilvitakala.com. ” And next year, should Cleo decide to curate an exhibition for a third time in a row, I will make sure I do go.
I did make it to the Musical Oasis in the Methodist Church – among the many young performers was our son, playing a couple of piano pieces. I barely got inside the door – even with hardly a sign at the door that there was something happening inside, the place was filled to capacity, and youngster after youngster played their music in this lovely informal setting. Well done Amy Fahy for organising this special event!
And then there was the Rock Trailer, a huge favourite with local bands and the teenage festival goers – to get a spot on it, you need to either have already made your name, or to have successfully fought the Battle of the Bands, a fantastic fringe event which this year resulted in the winners, Crooked Edge and the runners-up, Vicinity Overtone both being asked to play the Trailer. Other bands and performers included Sawn Off Sundays, Pyramids, The Black Captain, Alice Kiernan and Direct Approach. The MCs Stephen Kampf and Mark Kinsella held it all together and kept the show moving!
Dance Dimensions and the members of Magic Carpet Theatre Company did their bit to entertain us on the street. Strand Street was turned into an impromptu stage, music was set up, and the DD gals and guys launched into a succession of nicely-choreographed musical numbers. Some bystanders even tried their best to join in!
The Magic Carpet Theatre Group had a bit of a Wizard-of-Oz-meets-Disney theme. There was a witch and Dorothy and a little girl; and then there were Mickey and Minnie. I think I saw Barney somewhere, too. All of them in high spirits and very much in role when interacting with bystanders, innocent or not! Great addition to the day, Magic Carpet!
The Night Parade and Fireworks
After a quick break and a bite to eat, practically all of the Soundwaves Volunteers were back at the Community Centre, joined by volunteers from the participating primary schools. As dusk began to fall at around seven,Natasha was assigning roles, Ray handed out torches and safety information, Ricka made sure the kids were all lined up properly and the people at the front knew the route. Lots of chatting and anticipation. Ernestine got everyone to leave a large space on the Community Centre car park… and then the fire jugglers came! Fantastic stuff. The jugglers were: Neil Kenny – LED Balls, Caroline Keating – Fire Poi, Laura Ivers – Fire Hoop and Paul Mulrennan – Fire Balls. Don’t try this at home…
Two of the jugglers in action.
The parade and its magic creatures wound its way through the darkening Skerries. Memories were shared of other parades, especially the rainy one a few years back – “Never been so wet in my life.” No fear of rain this year, and when the fireworks started up in the harbour, it felt like this was the biggest Soundwaves night parade yet. Click here for more parade pictures.