Ireland’s first-ever buggy parade will launch the inaugural Our Balbriggan Grasshoppers Festival – a superb celebration aimed at children under six years of age.
The Festival, which takes place between August 16-18, is dedicated to the under sixes and celebrates the fact that Balbriggan has youngest percentage population in Ireland.
It will kick off with a big ‘push’ at 5.30pm on Friday, August 16 with an open invitation to hundreds of local people to decorate their prams or buggies and join the buggy parade from Market Green.
Grasshoppers is the brainchild of Acting Up Arts and is fully supported by Our Balbriggan (balbriggan.ie) and Fingal County Council.
The Festival is one of the 20 things to happen in the first 12 months of the Our Balbriggan Plan, which will see a €20m-plus rejuvenation of the town, led by a community vision, over three years.
“We have already enjoyed a number of fantastic summer festivals and, as the Plan develops, there is more to come which the whole area will enjoy,” said Emer O’Gorman, Fingal County Council’s Director of Economic, Enterprise and Tourism Development.
The jam-packed international celebration of early years communities will see visiting companies from Croatia, Lithuania, Romania and Belgium perform workshops for various age groups and families over the weekend.
Parents, families and care-givers are advised to book early for the workshops as places are limited.
Over the weekend, there will also be an exhibition of ‘Our Community’ pre-school artwork in the library, Millfield and along the Main Street where Balbriggan’s youth describe their home town.
The festival is being organised by Cliodhna Noonan of Acting Up! Arts who is highly regarded for developing new and innovative art projects for early years.
“This project is dedicated to our youngest citizens, the 0-6 year olds and their families,” she said.
“We have 100 pieces of art work to display, drawn or relayed by the children and those depictions of colour, vibrancy and activity clearly shows that they love where they live.
“Pre and national school teachers undertook to help us with this in June, which is the busiest month of the year for them, so we are very grateful.
“Balbriggan has the youngest population in Ireland and this festival is something to bring the community together while also adding an international flavour with visiting companies who regularly celebrate the youngest people in communities all over mainland Europe.
“It’s a fantastic line-up which will stimulate and encourage development among our young and carers, parents and families will also enjoy the events.
They just need to book early and can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org