The annual festival of theatre, music, writers, poets and more will take place on Tuesday, September 10 to Sunday, September 15 in the John Baptist School Community. The aim of the festival is to empower the rural community of Hospital and its surrounding Hinterland. The focus is on the primary and secondary school communities, which teach almost a thousand students.
The festival will be spread across six days, with different cultural events taking place each day, including musicians, artists, and dramatic acts, against the backdrop of window art created by the schools in the community.
“This is a first-time event of its kind and hopefully will become a focal point of future festivals,” said Sean Dalton, member of the Hospital Arts and Culture Festival.
The Festival also celebrates the twinning of the Hospital village and Hospital De Orbigo in Northern Spain, in the province of Leon. The purpose of this partnership is to extend the hand of friendship and the elected Mayor Ernest Busto and Town Council Secretary Cristina Alves will attend the Festival.
Frank Moynihan, Celebrity Chef, will be opening the festival on Tuesday, serving up delicious dishes in John the Baptist Community School. There will also be a wine testing with Paulo Tresoldi afterward. Doors will open at 7.30pm.
The Light Into Darkness Community Parade will take place on Wednesday at 7.30pm, kicking off at the John the Baptist Community School grounds, through the streets and back to the school where music and lights from Amanda Leddin and Eugene O’Sullivan will fill the darkness. The parade will be led by Hospital, Herbertstown, Knockaney and Doon National school children, dressed as bees and butterflies under the guidance of Fidget Feet Theatre Company. Joining them will be the newly-crowned Lord and Lady Knight, as they all make noise with whistles and lights.
The following Thursday, there will be music and storytelling led by the Young at Heart Hospital Resource Centre, who will provide refreshments and all ages are welcome. There will also be music, poetry, and finger food, provided by the Spanish Hospital De Orbigo youth reach. Fiddle-player Dan Foley will accompany them.
On Friday evening will be the Bee Gee’s Story in the community hall, and the only thing you need is your dancing shoes and singing voice. From Dolly Parton songs like Islands in the Stream to the classic album Saturday Night Fever, this night of hits is not to be missed. Doors will open at 7 pm.
On Saturday morning, there will be a treasure trail for children and their parents at 10.30 from the playground, where they will have to follow the colours and find the picture. Goody bags will be supplied for all children. John Spillane, a singer and songwriter from Cork, will be performing on Saturday evening, and he will bring his popular songs such as Hey Dreamer, Dunne Stores Girl and All the Way That You Wander. The support act will be Kevin Sheehy, performing the original songs he has written over the past decade.
There will also be a fancy dress Disney Kiddies Disco from 3.30pm-4.30pm, with the night closing off with a Lantern Parade from Youthreach at 8 pm, accompanied by music from Kevin Sheehy.