Put a spring in your step at Bealtaine Fest


Put a spring in your step at Bealtaine Fest
By Express Reporter @laoisnews

The Arts Office has announced a packed programme of events for the Laois Bealtaine Festival 2017 for the month of May and are inviting people of an older age to join in the fun and activities in Laois. In celebration of Creativity the theme for 2017 is Altogether Now! Collectivism, civic engagement and protest!

The arts and crafts programme includes the launch of “Doorways of Stradbally” by the Stradbally Active Age Group on Saturday 6th May at 1.30, to be launched by Anna May McHugh, Managing Director of the National Ploughing Association of Ireland.

Free art workshops hosted by artist Saidhbhín Gibsontake place at the Laois Arthouse, on Tuesday 9th May and on Saturday 20th May to celebrate National Drawing Day. Booking at T: 057 8664033 or E:

A wide selection of music, dance, theatre and literature is also included in the programme including a western themed Hoe Down on Wednesday 3rd May in the Parish Centre, Portlaoise, at 3pm, organised by the Portlaoise Active Age Group.

A performance by Con Spirito a Portlaoise based ensemble with Siobhan Bergin Corri, Violin, Eileen Hearn, Violin, Mary White, Clarinet and Ann Pike, Flute in Abbeyleix Hospital and performances by Tandem a music duet from the showband era for residents of Abbeyleix and Mountmellick Hospitals.

On Wednesday 17th May, at the Parish Centre, Portlaoise from 11am-12, the Sing for Joy Choir will perform from their repertoire of joyful songs to welcome the summer.

There will be Bingo, music, song and dance in St Canices Hall, Borris-in-Ossory, from 2pm-5pm on Sat 20th May and a ceili organised by Maureen Culleton in Ballyfin Community Centre on Sunday 21st May, from 4pm-7pm.

A Rambling House Session, and Line Dancing sessions will take place at An Sean Chistin in Ballyfin and a dance for fun event in St Canices Hall, Borris-in-Ossary, from 2.30pm-4pm on Thursday 25th May .

On Saturday 27th May, residents, out-patients and staff of St Vincents Hospital, Mountmellick will enjoy the entertainment provided by “Lonrach” a contemporary Trad Group, under the directorship of Siobhan Buckley as they showcasing their wonderful talents in music song and dance.

The Dunamaise Arts Centre has a host of wonderful events, highlights include: performances by The Henry Girls on Saturday 4th May, and local drama group Fourth Wall Theatre Group will present Big Maggie from Fri 12th and Sat 13th May. The Arts Office will host an Open Mic Competition on Wednesday 31st May, from 3-5pm, in the Dunamaise ,with music and spoken word categories, for people aged 55 plus. More info from

Laois Libraries will also provide a rich array of events free of charge in libraries throughout the county including: Intergenerational Colouring, Colouring for Adults, Book Clubs, Adult Drawing classes , Makeup Demonstration, Knitting groups, Ciorcal Comhra, Classic Film Club, Local History Group, Adult writers group, Yoga Demonstration and Talk/Workshops. Lifestyle events include Fitsticks walking workshops and Go for Life activity day in St Marys Sports Hall, Portlaoise organised by Laois Sports Partnership.

A colour brochure is now available from the Arts Office, Laois County Council listing all of these events. Copies also available at the Dunamaise Arts Centre and from local libraries.

For more information contact: T: 057 8664033 or E: R W:

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