Waterford, its residents, and visitors may today be thankful for the bank holiday as they recover from three days of partying at the annual Spraoi festival.
The festival drew to a close last night after a heady weekend of street theatre, music, dance, comedy, food, and children’s activities had drawn thousands into the city centre since Friday afternoon.
With flags and banners made by local schoolchildren decorating the streets and adding to the festive atmosphere, entertainers from home and abroad immersed themselves in the Spraoi experience.
Yesterday, John Roberts Square in the heart of the city was thronged with people, as the weather obliged for the most part and allowed them to enjoy circus acts, magic, and music.
Le Cirque Democratique, from Belgium, had adults and children brandishing red and yellow cards as they had their say on the act, which included diving and dancing. Affeto D’Amore, performed by Mr Mustache from Italy, kept the laughter going with a show which told the tale, in silence, of a lovesick man and his journey to happiness.
With props ranging from a wine bottle to confetti, a baby doll to a wedding veil, it kept everyone on their toes.
Other popular attractions included the Billy Kidd Show from Canada, which again was heavy on audience participation and included magic and mind-reading.
Performances by TNT, also from Belgium and bringing a combination of juggling and movement, Monkey A Monkey B from Spain and the Waterford Youth Arts Group kept the emphasis on variety.Street music by the likes of the Genzyme Spraoi Orchestra, the ever-popular Barrack Sreet Band, the Big Bang from the Waterford Academy of Music and Arts, and the Tenth Avenue Band was also dotted around the streets.
A ‘Teenage Kicks’ section at Blackfriars was held in memory of Dennis Sheehan, U2’s tour manager, who hailed from Waterford and who died earlier this year.
The ‘Teenage Kicks’ line-up yesterday included 47Soul, New York Brass Band, Two Time Polka, the Sweet Life Society, the Showhawk Duo, and Cut Capers.
What sets the Waterford Spraoi International Street Arts Festival apart from many of its contemporaries is that all performances are free, with funding coming from sponsors, the Arts Council, and Waterford City and County Council.while the “Gimme 5” collection was well-supported throughout the weekend.Music filled the air as last evening drew to a close and attention turned towards the eagerly-awaited parade and the climactic fireworks display on The Quay.
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