Celebrating the 20th year of the festival, Tipperary’s Spleodar Halloween festival is all set to take off with this weekend. The eight-day-long festival is created by artists and craftsmen with special focus on young audiences.
Formerly known as All Hallows Eve, Halloween falls on a Saturday this year, giving another reason to celebrate the weekend. While a small virus has been enough to ward off ghosts and scare the whole world, this year Halloween is being seen as a relief from the grief and fatalities of the pandemic.
While the pandemic may have jeopardised the new year celebrations, it has had no effect on Halloween Day: Tipperary’s ‘only dedicated Children’s Art Festival’ is back with its lineup of online events and workshops for children.
Spleodar Halloween Arts Festival was set up two decades ago and will be celebrating its 20th year this year by sponsoring the planting of 20 native Irish trees at Laragh Co Wicklow with the Native Woodland Trust.
The Celtic festival of Samhain, now known as Halloween, was originally celebrated to mark the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Artistic Director Nenagh Arts Centre, Eva Birdthistle said, “Spleodar Halloween Arts Festival is more important now than ever, during these challenging times.”
The festival offers a mix of online, and in-person events designed and created to appeal to young people.
“It’s a ray of creative light that generates a sense of positivity, especially amongst young people. A festival that connects through creativity,” added Birdthistle.
Amongst several other on-line workshops, an origami workshop, Scary Animals of the World with wildlife artist Aga Grandowics, and Pet Monstor Sock Puppet with Niamh Lawlor of Púca Puppets are the major highlights of the festival. The festival will take place from Oct 24- Oct 31, 2020.
Commenting on Tipperary’s only Halloween festival for children, Melanie scott, Arts Officer, Tipperary County Council said:
“Tipperary County Council is delighted to support Spleodar, Nenagh’s Halloween Arts Festival through the Tipperary Festivals & Events Scheme 2020. This festival has been to the fore in presenting exciting and ambitious arts activity for children, young people and families since its inception. The commitment to engagement through the arts for audiences across a range of programming and technologies is more important now than ever. The festival once again presents an exciting programme of events which responds to the challenges of 2020 in innovative ways.”
Furthermore, Maureen Kennelly, Director of The Arts Council said, “Spleodar have consistently played a central role in providing engaging arts for young people in Nenagh and its hinterland. The festival has worked extremely hard, and responded creatively, during such challenging times to ensure that families can enjoy the arts in different ways.”