Fleadh hoping to hit all the right notes with fans
It's promising to be the biggest, most colourful and best fleadh in years, with around 250,000 people expected to sample the sights and sounds of Irish culture and craic in Co Cavan when the annual festival kicks off on August 16.
After months of planning, Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann 2010 is to showcase a huge variety of music, dance, concerts, recitals, with street sessions to entertain the crowds.
Senator Labhras O Murchu of Comhaltas predicted that Co Cavan will deliver one of the most varied, innovative and professional all-Ireland Fleadhanna Ceoil in the 60-year history of the event.
He added that the fleadh in these challenging times will be a "manifestation of the acknowledged tenacity and determination of the Cavan community, providing a platform for renewal combined with cultural and tourism opportunities".
Running until Sunday, August 22, it has an extensive programme of indoor and outdoor events.
Among the programme of events is the Scoil Eigse workshops Seachtain na Gaeilge, for adults and children, while the serious end of the fleadh is at the weekend, with hundreds of competitions for all ages concluding with the All-Ireland Ceili Band 'play off' in the Quinndirect Dome on Sunday night.
Free public entertainment will be on offer from the Peace III Gig Rig at the Egg Market, where performances will reflect Irish, European and cross-community themes, commencing with the Nyah Youth Peace Project Band on Wednesday.
The fleadh also comes alive with peace and international themes on August 19 with a Peace Boat on Lough Erne from Fermanagh to Cavan for a day of music, song and storytelling. Other attractions during the fleadh will include Sean O Se, who will lead a 'United Voices' sing-along.
All-day set dancing, traditional set dancing and fringe events such as craft and art exhibitions will also be taking place.
But for many, the fleadh means the numerous impromptu sessions which create and add to the atmosphere in Cavan's bars, restaurants and other outlets.
All that's needed now by the organisers is a spell of good weather.