Ennis will host the 18th European Culture Week this summer

A CELEBRATION of European dance, music and song will take place in Ennis this summer, as the county capital has been chosen to host the 18th European Culture Week.

The five-day festival kicks off in Ennis on August 8. The festival is a celebration of European cultures with eight participating groups from seven European countries.

Participating groups travel to Shannon Airport from France, Spain, Sardinia, South Tyrol in Italy, Romania, Lithuania and Hungary. Ireland will be represented at the festival by Clanna Mileadha, a group of musicians, dancers and singers based primarily in County Clare.

European Culture Week is a bi-annual festival which returns to Ennis this summer for the first time since 2002 after a two-year delay due to Covid restrictions.

The history of this festival is particularly special because it was founded in 1986 to promote friendships between cultures and regions of Europe.

These groups come together to celebrate their unique individuality. Each country showcases its culture through music and dance. Clanna Mileadha welcomes this year the opportunity to promote County Clare and Ireland as a tourist destination.

Throughout the week there will be concerts, street performances and a European craft market. Engagement and interaction are at the heart of this festival whose objective is to create friendships through a shared love of music, song and dance. To that end, every band performs at every event, and every band will also be very keen to chat with the locals.

There are opportunities for groups to learn music, songs and dances from each other and also for spectators to participate in the performances.

The performances are vibrant celebrations of music, song and dance. With a new band performing every 10-15 minutes, the variety of gigs is enchanting.

Each group dresses in their traditional costume. These costumes vary greatly and are beautiful, intricate creations. The music and dances are very different from our traditional Irish culture although the occasional similarity is intriguing to notice.

A sample program is available at website and follow the Facebook and Instagram accounts for regular updates at enniseuropeancultureweek2022.

Helen D. Jessen