Africa Day Limerick Celebrates The City’s Diversity

13th May 2013

Limerick will enjoy the sights and sounds of its African communities with four fun filled days of colourful events to celebrate Africa Day on Saturday 25th May.

A series of FREE family events will take place in Limerick from Wednesday 22nd to Saturday 25th May showcasing many aspects of African culture including music, sport, games, literature and art.

The four day event begins with an African Scene Art Workshop with local artist Jean Ryan Hakizimana at the Limerick City Library on Wednesday 22nd May at 1.45pm. The Hunt Museum will host a Symposium on “Development and Trade – the Relationship between Ireland and Africa” on Thursday 23rd May from 5pm.

One of the highlights of Africa Day is the exciting Africa & Ireland in Harmony Concert at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Thursday, 23rd May from 8pm-10pm. The event will bring together an incredible melting pot of talent from Africa and Ireland for a FREE gala concert. A large group of international and local performers will create a vibrant mix of music, dance and intercultural fusion.

Limerick City Library will come alive on Friday, 24th May with African Drumming – hands on, interactive sessions facilitated by Urs Wenk, Drum Dance Ireland. This is always a very popular event and booking is required.

Following the success of Limerick City Gallery of Art’s Africa Day 2012 celebration, LCGA welcomes back Limerick- trained Egyptian Artist Paula Bourke Girgis on Saturday 25th May with a free family workshop exploring the symbols of Ancient Egypt. Children and grown ups will learn to write in ancient hieroglyphs by making their own Ancient Egyptian artworks together!

The fun will continue on Africa Day with a Limerick Sixes Sportsfest at Crescent College Dooradoyle from 12 noon with an adult soccer world cup, children’s football blitz, face painting, arts, drumming workshops, dancers and musicians – something for all the family!

The Africa Day celebrations will culminate later that day with music and family fun in Limerick City Hall from 4pm with an African theme and flavour.  Local Primary Schools will have their posters on display with prizes for their Poster Competition being presented by the Mayor.

Africa Day is an initiative of the African Union, which celebrates African diversity and success and the cultural and economic potential of the continent.  This year marks the 50th anniversary of Africa Day and African Unity.  In Ireland, events to celebrate Africa Day are supported by Irish Aid.

Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, said Limerick City Council is proud to be associated with this event for the fifth consecutive year.

“Africa Day truly brings Limerick City to life with colourful, musical events transforming the City! Hosting such events reaffirms our commitment to integration and our goal of creating a vibrant, inclusive and dynamic Limerick City for all residents. We’re confident that this exciting calendar of events to mark Africa Day will connect communities and promote intercultural exchange through sport, music and the arts,” said Mayor McLoughlin.

Eugene Quinn, Chairperson of Limerick Integration Working Group said Africa Week events provide an opportunity to celebrate African culture and promote integration and diversity. “The Limerick Integration Working Group and Limerick City and County Council are delighted to be a part of the 50th anniversary of Africa Day. There is a huge variety of events for Africa Day 2013 and they are all free so we encourage everyone, especially families to come along,” said Eugene.

Africa Day Limerick will be delivered in partnership with Limerick City Council and the Limerick Integration Working Group. The programme is funded by Irish Aid under its Africa Day programme.