|Event Web Site:|
|Dates:||3rd October 2009 to 3rd October 2009|
|Location:||Ballyshannon's main street and river banks|
|Event Name:||Ballyshannon Constellations Carnival Parade|
|Event Description:||Donegal has some of the darkest skies in Europe and for the past few years the Donegal Bay and Blue Stacks Festival has celebrated the darkening nights at the beginning of October with an illuminated Carnival Parade through the town of Ballyshannon. This year local Donegal company LUXe (artistic directors of the Parade) decided to make a processional spectacle and to develop sculptural work celebrating the launch of World Space Week in Ireland and the International Year of Astronomy. At the launch of their work in Dublin on St Patrick's Day they were awarded the Spirit of The St. Patrick's Day Parade prize. Continuing with this theme throughout the year LUXe proposed theming this year's appropriately timed Ballyshannon parade to celebrate space and astronomy, and in conjunction with professionals from the Northern Ireland Space Office and Armagh Planetarium to launch World Space Week in Ireland in Ballyshannon.
This will involve combining an existing sculpture on a planetary theme (' The Orrery' , created by LUXe Co-Director, Mark Hill for the Liverpool European Capital of Culture 2008 ) and a cosmic processional spectacle with new and celebratory work, with work from other carnival groups in the region.
This will see Ballyshannon's main street and river banks dressed with astronomical imagery in the form of lanternwork, kinetic sculpture, performance, projections and fire drawing. This night of constellations will be the physical climax of an astonomical awareness programme in which the queen of sciences is brought into schools and through which the attention of children is drawn not only to the world of astronomy and related scientific activities and possibilities but also to the uniqueness of their dark skies and the rare clarity with which the beauty of the constellations may be enjoyed from a Donegal viewpoint. The children will enjoy visits to the Star Dome ( the Armagh Planetarium's mobile planetarium ), rocket making and designing workshops, cosmic lantern making workshops and a 3D space film presentation. Donegal and the North West has the highest density of carnival groups in Ireland and the Ballyshannon Parade is the only event in the year that brings them all together into a gathering of over 300 people, large centrepieces and bands. This years Parade and Spectacle will include work and performance from The Workhouse Studios Sligo, Inishowen Carnival Group, Killybegs Community Carnival , Parthelon Street Band Ballyshannon, Streetwise Belfast, Fidget Feet Ballybofey, No Frontiers Dance Company from Longford, Aileen McCann's Dancers from Ballyshannon, Black Powder Monkeys ( Pyrotechnics ) from Cavan, Realta Fire Performers ( Galway ), Fanzini Bros from Kerry and The Gombeens Street Theatre from Galway as well as LUXe from Inishowen.
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