A scene from the last Birr Vintage Week parade, in 2019.

Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival to 'return with a bang' this summer

After an enforced two-year hiatus, Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival is set to return to its full glory from July 29 to August 7 this year.

Organisers of the much-loved festival, now in its 54th year, are gearing up for the return of the old favourites including the sorely-missed Vintage Sunday parade.

With plans for a revamped and refreshed festival now falling into place, the Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival team is calling on the wider community of Birr and the surrounding area to get involved in helping to bring Vintage Week to life like never before.

A 'Town Hall' meeting is taking place on Thursday, May 19, at Dooly's Hotel (7.30pm) to share news of the events and ideas so far, as well as to pave the way for people to get involved as participants in the parade, on-the-ground volunteers, or behind-the-scenes organisers.

The meeting will also be a formal chance for community groups and individuals to hear more about the role of the Birr Festivals Collective in supporting the development and expansion of Vintage Week this year.

The Collective, with the support of the Arts Council of Ireland, has been able to fund the professional services of a Festivals Projects Coordinator and PR & Marketing Coordinator since late last year.

This major development means a new way of structuring how the festival is managed and delivered, providing crucial support and most importantly, lessening the workload of the Vintage Week Committee and volunteers.

Another image from the 2019 staging of the parade.

"There is enormous excitement and expectation around the return of Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival this year and rightly so, the festival is the crown jewel of the Birr Festival Season," said Colm Croffy, Festivals Project Coordinator for the Collective.

"A small team of volunteers has been working enormously hard over the winter and spring to lay the foundations for the full return of the town's biggest festival.

"But now, the time has come for the community to answer the call to get involved, particularly in the Vintage Sunday parade.

"This year's organisers wish to see not only the usual colour and traditional elements of the parade on display, but also hope as many entries to the parade will be received from new firms and organisations from all parts of our diverse community.

"We are asking all those groups who have been involved in the past, those who have never been involved at all as well as anyone who cares deeply about Birr continuing to have a flagship and cultural week and may be able to volunteer some time to come along."

To attend the meeting, people are asked to please register via email to birrfestivalscollective@gmail.com by Monday 16 May at 5pm.

For those groups or people who can't make the meeting but wish to be involved, please also get in touch by email and the committee will contact you.