Birr-illiant fun at the fair
Festival-goers are being asked to step back in time as one of the country's oldest events gets under way in the midlands.
The 42nd Annual Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival kicked off last night with a visual arts trail through the Georgian Heritage town.
The trail showcases photography, models of local buildings and paintings by artists including internationally renowned artist, musician and Birr native Rosey.
The seven-day event also features musical performances, street theatre, a busking competition, old-time fairs, firework displays, artisan and craft markets, vintage parades, the 41st Annual Antique and the Fine Art Fair, to name but a few.
A series of lunchtime concerts will take place at the Birr Theatre and Arts Centre, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, while the skies will come alive with planes, helicopters and microlights for the Ormond Club's annual fly-in at Birr airfield today and tomorrow.
Tomorrow, the streets of Birr play host to the annual vintage parade featuring vintage cars, tractors, pipe bands, horses and carriages and a fly-over.
Street performers, circus artists and buskers will add to the atmosphere during the day.
Festival spokeswoman Janine Wilson said visitors can enjoy a fantastic range of activities for the young and old during the seven-day festival.
Organisers want to merge vintage events and dress with contemporary acts and performances during the week, she said.
"We are really encouraging people to dress up in costumes of days gone by and we are running a competition for best-dressed ladies and gents in costume," she said.
Speaking before the launch, Ms Wilson said Irish and international visitors had already begun arriving in the town for the event.
Festival chairman Liam Dumpleton was delighted with the level of interest shown in this year's event.
"Birr seems to rise in morale and rise in spirit every year for the festival," he said.
Mr Dumpleton also wants people to get into the spirit of the event and dress up in vintage costumes.
The programme of events is listed on the festival website, birrvintageweek.com
Birr Vintage week runs until next Friday, August 20.