Source: Carlow St Patrick's Festival Facebook page
A bumper programme of events for Seachtain na Gaeilge 2020, the annual national spring Irish language Festival, kicked off in Carlow on March 3 and will continue through until St Patrick's Day.
Programme highlights include schools' drama festival, seisiúin and céilithe, table quizzes, a spring art competition, the bilingual shop window display competition and of course the Carlow Town parade on Lá Fhéile Pádraig.
Plays and musicals "as Gaeilge" to be staged will include Plúirín Sneachta, An Cailín Sinséir, Jeaic agus an Gás Pónaire, Peadar Penguin, ‘Annie, Charlie & an Monarcha Seacláide, Grease and many more.
Busloads of pupils from schools as far afield as Gorey, Kilkenny, Portlaoise, Borris-in-Ossory and Kildare as well as junior and senior pupils of Gaelscoil Cheatharlach will be treading the stage boards over the two days.
Teachers from other schools are taking their pupils on a trip to the Féile Scoildrámaíochta as part of their schools' programme for Seachtai na Gaeilge.
Following its major success last year, many shop and business owners are keen to get involved in the Bilingual Shop Window Competition and are planning to go all green and patriotic from March 1-17 by creating displays to reflect the national festive spirit with generous use of the Irish language.
Independent adjudicators will view the displays over the fortnight and choose the prizewinners based on content, use of Irish, creativity and variety.
The prizes will be presented at a ceremony later in March.
All shop owners and their window dressers are invited and encouraged to take part in the competition and Glór Cheatharlach will be on hand to assist with suitable phrases to complement their colourful displays.
As usual there will be plenty on offer for young people during Seachtain na Gaeilge.
The annual table quizzes are always a huge hit with teachers and pupils and there will be a quiz for senior primary pupils as well as another for post primary students.
The ever popular Spring Art Competition for primary schools is already in full swing and prizes will be awarded at a presentation ceremony in Carlow Cathedral Parish Centre on Thursday, March 12 at 7.30pm.
Gaelscoil Eoghain Uí Thuraisc will hold a massive open air Céilí Faoin Aer in the school grounds on Friday, March 13 when 500 pupils with their teachers and some parents will step it out in the playground for Ionsaí na hInse, Ballaí Luimní and the ever popular Brush Dance.
Other Seachtain na Gaeilge events include the bilingual family Parkrun on Saturday mornings at 9.30am while the Wednesday morning ‘Caint & Comhrá’ special in Carlow Museum on March 10 at 10.30am will feature Tours ‘as Gaeilge’ of the museum exhibits.
Am Scéalaíochta in Carlow Library will treat 0-8 year olds to an hour of storytelling and fun ‘as Gaeilge’.
Set dancing and Sean-Nós dance classes are also on the menu.
St Patrick’s Day will commence with Blessing of the Shamrock and Mass in Irish in Carlow Cathedral at 11am followed by Family Fun in Potato Market from 2-6pm including the Festival Parade.
A Céilí Mór in Carlow Hurling Club with ‘Rise The Dust; Céilí Band at 9pm will brin two weeks of Seachtain na Gaeilge festivities in Carlow to a close.
The bumper programme with details of all events is available now from Glór Cheatharlach on 085 1340047, 087 2857048 and to download on www.glorcheathrlach.ie
It's also on www.facebook.com/glor.ceatharlach while printed programmes are available from Carlow Library, Carlow Tourism and local shops.
Seachtain na Gaeilge 2020 is for everyone regardless of one’s command of the language.