Birr locals won’t bat an eyelid at neighbours dressed in vintage gear this week; in fact, they’ll probably be dressed in similar themselves.
That’s because at 45 years of age Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival is both a much-loved and familiar festival in the south Offaly town.
Running until August 10, the event that is one of Offaly’s flagship Gathering events will give locals and visitors alike a variety of options when it comes to entertainment this bank holiday weekend and beyond.
This year the festival’s organising committee has lined up lots of new events in addition to annual favourites that celebrate Birr’s long history, Georgian heritage, thriving arts scene and cultural resources.
Visitors are being specially welcomed, with a Craic agus Ceol reunion on the festival schedule, as well as a chance to be festival parade grand marshall up for grabs.
Yesterday (Thursday) saw the 44th annual Birr Antique and Fine Art Fair opened on the top floor of The Maltings.
Today highlights include the launch of the festival’s visual arts tourist trail in The Maltings on Castle Street at 6.30pm, with everyone welcome and particularly those in vintage costume.
At 7.30pm this evening Wilmer Tennis Club will host an open vintage tennis tournament, with prizes for the best dressed lady and gent, while Birr Comhaltas will head up a vintage trad session in Craughwell’s Bar from 9.30pm.
Saturday is the day for the much anticipated Craic agus Ceol reunion in Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, while an artisan and craft market on Emmet Square is sure to provide daytime entertainment.
Sunday highlights will include a vintage Sunday festival Mass in St Brendan’s RC Church at 10.30am and of course the traditional vintage parade from 3pm.
Monday events meanwhile will include the Ormond Flying Club’s annual fly in at Birr Airfield and a family fun day at Birr Equestrian Centre.
The fun doesn’t stop when the bank holiday weekend comes to a close however. Instead the entertainment will continue until Saturday week, August 10.
More information on festival events is available by logging on to www.birrvintageweek.com or www.facebook.com/BirrVintageWeekandArtsFestival, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the festival info line on 087 9226961.