Crawley is gearing up to celebrate its 21st Irish festival on the back of receiving a £5,000 grant from the local council.
Hosted by the Celtic and Irish Cultural Society, this year’s event takes place on 27 August in the building and grounds of the Hawth Theatre.
A host of events are scheduled for the day, including music, dancing and live GAA screenings. A total of 15 bands are scheduled to perform, covering a range of genres such as modern, contemporary, trad and easy listening.
There will also be displays by the town’s dance schools and a show by the Crawley Ceili.
Festival organiser John Nolan said: “The event promotes all that’s good about our culture in a way for all, Irish and otherwise, to be part of.
“We want to make the whole day a success and give all a memorable experience which can only be good for the town and its inhabitants.
Cultures and communities
“Our festival is here to bring cultures and communities together. Crawley is continually being developed and has a vibrant mix of cultures within which events like the festival flourish.”
He also expressed his gratitude to Crawley Borough Council for their funding which he said would “go a long way” in terms of meeting this year’s running costs.
As well as attracting thousands of local residents, the festival also welcomes many visitors who travel long distances to enjoy the event and boost the local economy. Its success was celebrated at the Irish Embassy last month with an official reception.
The event, which was attended by outgoing Irish Ambassador Dan Mulhall, recognised the festival’s milestone anniversary and the commitment of the organisers in continuously running it.
Crawley’s Cabinet Member for Community Engagement, Councillor Michael Jones, said it was an “honour” to attend the ceremony in London.
“It was fantastic to meet such a wonderful group of people who are passionate about sharing their rich and vibrant culture,” he said.
“I am thrilled that we have been able to continue our support for such an integral community group, for an event that goes from strength to strength.”