April 21, 2024

Kilkenny Day: Battle stations in city as Viking hordes invade!

The city and county was festooned in black and amber last weekend amid the celebrations to mark the second annual ‘Kilkenny Day’.

Locals and visitors of all ages turned out in force on Sunday to enjoy the autumn sunshine and the festival of events that were staged across the city and county.

The Parade and Kilkenny Castle were a hub of activity with market stalls, street performers, live music, storytelling, and old school apple pressing.

Meanwhile, Déise Medieval snuck in from Waterford and took over the Medieval Mile Museum Courtyard, showing what it was like to live, eat and fight like a Viking. Fight demonstrations and Viking interactions delighted spectators.

Ros Tapestry Talks took place at the other end of Kilkenny’s Medieval Mile at Rothe House, where researcher, historian and designer Countess Ann Griffin Bernstorff spoke about a mammoth project that involved a collaborative effort of over 150 embroiders over 22 years.

Speaking at the close of the event, Kilkenny County Council Cathaoirleach, Cllr. Fidelis Doherty, said: “The Ros Tapestry is truly an historic tale told in thread; it depicts, in a most engaging way, the Norman history and the influence of William Marshall in the South East. We have been so fortunate that the vision for this project was brought to reality through the work of the great people like Ann and Alexis and the wonderful skilled volunteers over the past two decades.”

Another highlight of the ‘Kilkenny Day’ celebrations was a special outdoor screening of Cartoon Saloon’s Oscar nominated Wolfwalkers in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle.

Inspired by the landmarks and forests of Kilkenny, ‘Wolfwalkers’ was nominated for best animated feature film at the 2021 Oscars, and tells the tale of Robyn, a young apprentice hunter and her father who journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack.

The screenings were attended by 452 people of all ages, and were backlit by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle. Moviegoers were introduced to the movie by Wolfwalkers producer Paul Young and co-eirector Ross Stewart.

Callan, Ballyragget and Castlecomer all played host to the last in a series of performances by Festival in a Van ‘Words Move’ tour. The tour presented by Festival in a Van and Poetry Ireland, saw 10 poets and 10 singer songwriters perform across Ireland in a purpose built, Covid-safe mobile venue.

Other highlights of the weekend included a behind the scenes tour of Nowlan Park, Local Live Concerts in the Castle Park with headliners ‘The Kilkennys’ and ‘Jerry Fish’ and the launch of the Kilkenny Catwalk Trail, an art trail around the City that will be in place till Easter 2022.

Commenting on the day Kilkenny County Council chief executive Colette Byrne said: “It was great to see so many people out enjoying Kilkenny in the sunshine. There was black and amber everywhere and everyone was in such high spirits getting involved in the fantastic programme of events that was on offer. This event is growing year on year and we are encouraging communities throughout the City and County to think about how they might celebrate Kilkenny next year.”

PHOTOS: Main – Rian Burke from Kilkenny; Middle – Sunny Keenan and Vena Sunda, Deise Medival at Medieval Mile Museum; Bottom – Con Horgan of Fanzini Productions and Aisling McElwain, Aisling McElwain Ceramics.


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