Cruinniú na nÓg is offering free activities for children in Longford this weekend

After two years of quiet weekends, it feels good to finally have something to do on the weekends, especially when there’s a packed schedule of events specially designed to entertain the kids. And the best thing is – everything is free!

Cruinniú na nÓg returns this year with a day of art, drama, music and workshops for various skills and interests – all of which are open to children in County Longford this Saturday 11th June.

International Day of Families: Connolly Barracks, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.

Kicking off with events on Saturday afternoon at Connolly Barracks, International Family Day will be a fun-filled day with music, food and games celebrating all the families who call Longford home. There will be performances by individuals and groups representing various countries and arts and crafts exhibitions and a wide variety of dishes from different cultures will also be available.

Learn more about International Day of the Family below:

Sky is the Limit: Connolly Barracks, 2:45 p.m.

Last year, Longford artists Shelley Corcoran and Angelika Florkiewicz wrote and illustrated a beautiful book called Bees Love Dandelions, which taught the children of Longford a lot about saving bees. This year, the pair returns with their latest offering, Sky is the Limit.

This illustrated children’s book explores how to overcome feelings of discomfort when faced with a physical attribute deemed different and how to understand that everyone has something that makes them sensitive. Readings and art lessons were held in schools in the weeks leading up to Cruinniú and the book will be launched on Cruinniú Day by Cathaoirleach Cllr Peggy Nolan.

The book launch is at 2.45pm at Connolly Barracks.

Backstage Youth Theater Little Ghosts: Connolly Barracks, 3:15 p.m.

Young members of the Backstage Youth Theater wrote a play during workshops held in April and May. The play was written and performed by young people for young people, under the supervision of an animator. A live performance of their work will take place at Connolly Barracks as part of the International Family Day Festival. No reservation is required.

Art Show & Tree Veneer: The Mall, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Ethnic Minority Hub created works of art before Cruinniú, harnessing the rich talents of young African migrants and other minority communities and encouraging participation in creative activities and engagement with their community. The second part of this project is the Green Garden Initiative, which allows young people to learn to protect the environment by recycling and planting trees. An exhibition of all works of art and a tree planting ceremony will take place on the day of Cruinniú.

‘Your Man’s Puppets’ Variety Show: Ballymahon Library, 11am-12pm; Edgeworthstown Library, 1 – 2 p.m.

A unique blend of puppetry and storytelling, audiences experience different ways of telling stories using very simple puppets that lead to the story of a wonderful walrus named Darryl. As people get older they tend to complicate things, which leads to the following story of a young goat and his dreams of what lay across the bridge in a tale of ” Billy goats gruff”. The show ends with a most unusual song that everyone is sure to appreciate! It’s a show for all ages, so bring your parents! To book, contact Ballymahon or Edgeworthstown Library.

Rap Workshops: Edgeworthstown Library, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; Longford Library, 1pm – 2pm

It’s a fantastic chance for young people from Longford to write and perform their own rap at Cruinniú na nÓg. Rap workshops will be led by K Muni and ND from Academy Records and will take place at the Longford and Edgeworthstown libraries. To reserve a space, contact Edgeworthstown or Longford Library.

Read more about K Muni and ND below:

Traditional Irish Dance Show: Library Plaza, Ballymahon, 12.30pm – 1pm

Pupils from St Matthews National School will perform their newly learned dances to live music in Library Square. Traditional Irish dance workshops are given by local dance teacher Mairéad Casey in the weeks leading up to Cruinniú. The performance will consist of a mixture of Ceilí dances; The Seat of Ennis, The Walls of Limerick, Shoe the Donkey, Stack of Barley plus some basic Sean Nós steps.

Music for Early Years with Music Generation Longford: Ballymahon Library, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Granard Library, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.; Edgeworthstown Library, 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.; Drumlish Library, 1 – 2 p.m.

For children from 0 to 6 years old. Through movement and music, little music makers will be introduced to ways to make big sounds with instruments and singing. A wonderful way to introduce children to the possibilities of musical fun and performance from an early age! To book, contact the libraries directly.

Bodhrán Workshop with Music Generation Longford: Lanesboro Library, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.; Ballymahon Library, 12pm – 1pm

From 6 years old. Learn the basics of Bodhrán! A fun way for kids to learn about this traditional musical instrument and make friends while making music. Bodhráns will be provided! To book, contact the library directly.

Library contact details for all reservations:

music through the lens

Local filmmaker and photographer Nathan Sheridan has compiled a library of engaging, energetic and powerful visuals featuring local young talent from County Longford. In this collaboration, Nathan made an impact on young people by helping them develop their performance, their art and their state of mind towards a visual piece adapted to the atmosphere of their music. The video featuring the three musical artists will premiere on the day of Cruinniú.

Creation of a mural with St Joseph’s NS & Cruthú Arts Festival

Local professional artists led workshops with 5th graders at St. Joseph Elementary School on developing and creating murals. The majority of students in this class were born outside of Ireland and this project promotes inclusion through the common language of art. A video was produced and released on Cruinniú Day.

Bridgeways acts against climate change

The Bridgeways Family Resource Center will host summer workshops to educate youth and children about the adverse effects of climate change on our communities, both locally and globally. This project aims to work with 150 children and young people and will include climate action activities such as the recycling of furniture and clothes, as well as raising awareness about plastic waste. The promotional video to launch this project will be created for Cruinniú.

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