Samhain parade to lift spirits

Chinatown comes to Cork tonight as a huge fire-breathing dragon and more than 350 ghouls and zombies take over one of the city’s most historic areas.

Shandon will be the scene of the 7th annual Dragon of Shandon Samhain Parade and its organisers, Cork Community Art Link, are extending an invitation to the citizens of the city to dress up and take part in the family-friendly event.

The parade will depart from the Shandon Butter Exchange at 7pm and takes a route through John Redmond St, Mulgrave Rd, Popes Quay, Shandon St, and Church St before returning to the craft centre for an outdoor céilí.

The list of creatures expected to participate in the parade includes spooks, ghouls, zombies, vampires, monsters, and other traditional Samhain creations.

Water is a strong feature of the parade and this year the programme includes the transformation of Shandon Footbridge into “a skeletal illuminated installation”.

The highlight of the night will be the appearance of the 11-metre Dragon of Shandon, which will be joined by a host of creepy characters, including brightly illuminated skeleton puppets, lanterns, and musicians.

Groups participating include the Cathedral Cairde Youth Club, Blarney St Youth Group, The Buttera (Butter Exchange Brass Band), Cope Foundation, Gurranabraher Youth Development Centre, St Kevin’s After-School Programme, Middle Parish Youth Club, The Life Centre, The Glen CDP, CIT Carnival Samba, St Vincent de Paul Back on Track Programme, Cork Pride, and the CCAL Drama Group.

The parade’s artistic collaborators include Dowtcha Puppets, Art Machina from Plovdiv Bulgaria, choreographer PJ Kirby from the Firkin Crane, and multimedia artist Fernando Tunon Hernandez. Sound composition will be by Berlin-based Giordaí Ua Laoghaire.

CCAL is one of the country’s foremost community street spectacle companies with a strong voluntary participation ethos which underpins its annual programme promoting inclusive engagement in the arts by all.

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