Popular children’s arts festival returns to towns of Offaly

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Ruff! The Offaly Children’s Arts Festival is back with an extravaganza of creativity, art making and fun experiences. Now in its 16th year, Hullabaloo! The Offaly Arts Festival for children under 12 runs from Wednesday 2 November to Saturday 5 November in Birr, Clara, Edenderry and Tullamore.

Ruff! is all about creativity with workshops and family performances to stimulate curiosity and originality by bringing together the best entertaining artists from across Ireland. Ruff! stimulates curiosity, originality and confidence. Children have fun and experience a mix of high quality creative experiences.

With a monster of eighty-three events in this packed schedule, there’s something for everyone, from screen printing, juggling, character design, writing, acting and paper folding/origami to music, abstract art, drawing, hip-hop dancing, finger puppets, and wax painting. Seven family events across a wide range of art forms from circus, film, music, theater and puppetry are available to the public. A specially curated program of events has been put on for Tullamore audiences ahead of the highly anticipated opening of the Esker Arts Centre. Tullamore events will take place at the Presbyterian Church, High Street, Tullamore and Tullamore Library. As the festival kicked off this week, Arts Officer Sally O’Leary said ‘Offaly County Council’s Arts Office is delighted to be working in partnership again with the theater and arts centre. arts of Birr to deliver a program of exciting live events in Birr, Clara and Edenderry. with additional events scheduled this year for Tullamore. Raffut! has become a highly anticipated annual event offering fun for the whole family, and we look forward to again looking forward to this year’s events.

This year Hullabaloo! has a family program full of humour, entertainment and creativity with family shows designed to appeal to a wide range of interests and age groups. Children under 6 can enjoy THE TEDDY, THE WITCH & THE PUMKIN with Barking Dog Theater (Ages 0-6) Join Sammy Ragdoll and Eddy The Teddy on a magical Halloween adventure. GUIDO FANZINI’S THUNDEROUS ENTERTAINMENT HABERDASHERY is fun for all ages. Heart-stopping antics for 40 minutes of fantastic comedy and pure fun in its parody of Danger, a comedic circus show. Theater lovers can enjoy ONE NIGHT’S ADVENTURES with Beluga Theatre. This fantasy adventure for ages 6 and up is about a sleepless boy named Rory and his toy owl through dreamland. For those who can’t resist the charm of an old-fashioned puppet show, steeped in the fun, modern spirit of the fabulous Jay Ryan of RTÉ JUNIOR MONSTERS & THINGS is a must! A puppet show about Jacko and his friend Podi who are aiming to win ‘The X Factor’ An interactive and energetic show for the whole family.

The piece de resistance is the arrival in Offaly of the family group taking the circuit by storm. THE BARCELÓ BROTHERS Their heartfelt songs imbued with instrumental virtuosity, impromptu dance moves and an infectious joie de vivre will have Offaly’s children (and the happy adults who accompany them!) humming along the way home. If that’s not enough, then Sing 2 is also on the billing. Who could resist this charming family film about Buster Moon and his musically gifted friends? Speaking at the fun launch this week, the Director of Birr Theater & Arts Center commented; “We are delighted to be back to host workshops and live performances. Children have missed out on the live experience for the past two years and this year’s comprehensive program offers something for everyone.”

The festival continues to provide quality artistic experiences for county children at a very affordable cost. Reservations can be made directly on the Hullabaloo! Offaly Children’s Arts Festival (hullabaloofestival.ie)

Rumor has it that tickets sell out fast, so it’s a good idea to book early to ensure you get your Hullabaloo! fill that mid-term break!

Ruff! is coordinated by the Offaly County Council Arts Office and the Birr Theater & Arts Centre, together with the Offaly Library Service and the Clara Family Resource Centre. Supported by Offaly County Council and The Arts Council of Ireland.

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