In Pictures: Thousands (even Bosco) turn out for Culture Night extravaganza across the country

As the sun went down, tens of thousands of culture vultures from around the country embraced everything that their town, city and village had to offer.

Celebrating its 14th year, Culture Night has grown to become an essential day in the Irish social calendar, accessible to everyone of all ages, and boasting over 4,000 events across the country.

There were free buses in operation in Dublin and Cork that ferried people between events, exhibitions, screenings and a wealth of other experiences.

At Central Plaza on Dame Street, Ireland’s leading “aerialists” Aerial Cirque put on a gravity defying show with music by composer Peter Power.

Across the river, at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks, RTÉ hosted an open-air event, with acts including Aslan, Wallis Bird, the Kilfenora Ceilí Band and the Dublin Gospel Choir.

The Freemasons HQ in Dublin was among the most popular establishments to open their doors to the public last night.

Denise Mahon (42) from Stoneybatter, Dublin said she was amazed that such an ornate building was right on her doorstep.

“I’ve always wanted to come here because the lodge is one of the hidden gems in Dublin that many don’t even know about.

“It’s a pity that women are still not allowed to join because while the interior is beautiful, their strict rules make the order seem behind the times,” she said.

World famous photographer Martin Parr was one of the many visitors to Temple Bar Gallery and Studios.

Speaking to the Independent.ie, Mr Parr said Culture Night was an ideal time to find inspiration for his new project.

“It’s great that the cities around the country are embracing their culture and traditions,” he said.

“There is certainly a lot going on tonight which is ideal because I am writing a new photography book on Ireland,” he said.

For school teacher Kate Beglan, the night was a fantastic opportunity to keep her daughter and her school friends from Canal Way Education, Dublin 8 occupied.

“There’s always so much stuff going on tonight which is great when you’re looking after so many kids,” she said.

But Culture Night certainly isn’t a Dublin exclusive event.

In Cork, Pitch’d Circus Arts Festival’s Inferno Fire Show lit up the city’s skies, and in Clifden, Galway the village celebrated 100 years since the first transatlantic flight with a screening of documentary Yesterday, we were in America.

The Carlow Ukulele Players also joined the High Hopes Choir, whose members have been touched by homelessness, performed a repertoire in Carlow town from Irish Ballads to classic pop.

In Limerick, the city’s butchers and brass bands teamed up to host a spectacular Pigtown Parade. Puppets, street performers and “real life piglets” beguiled children and adults alike to the backdrop of live music.

Culture Night 2019 even spanned as far to the French capital of Paris, with Irish artist Ursula Burke exhibiting her ­porcelain sculptures, embroidery and drawings, exploring abuses of power in both social and political spheres/

Other Culture Night events around the country included theatre shows, like Waiting Tables for Godot at An Grianán Theatre Donegal, a funny and fast-moving play about a pair of conjoined twins serving tables and waiting for Godot.

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