THE mayor of Fermoy, Cllr Olive Corcoran, has promised the town's upcoming Arts Festival will be a "cultural treat", with a packed programme of events lined up for the three-day extravaganza.
Cllr Corcoran pledged the festival, which will run from Friday, January 31 to Sunday, February 2, would be "an assault on the senses" with a plethora of events taking place at venues across the town.
"I have always had a keen interest in the arts and felt not enough was being done to highlight the work done by so many groups in the town to promote the sector," said Cllr Corcoran.
"As mayor of the town I am in an ideal position to do something about that by helping to organise an all-encompassing event that would show people just what a vibrant town Fermoy is," she added.
Over the past few months she and the dedicated festival committee have worked tirelessly to put together an exciting festival programme that will have something for people of all ages.
"The idea was that groups and individuals would come together under one all-inclusive banner creating a veritable assault on the senses," said Cllr Corcoran.
"Given the current economic climate we felt it was important that the festival be as accessible as possible, as a result the vast majority of events taking place over the weekend will be free to the public," she added.
The mayor said this would not have been possible without the enthusiasm of the various groups and individuals who are hosting events across the weekend, all of whom are giving their time for free.
These will include art, photography and food sculpture exhibitions, poetry workshops and recitals, musical concerts and storytelling at venues including St Patrick's Church, Christchurch, the Town Hall and Fermoy Youth Centre.
The list of artists participating is also impressive with the Garda Choir, Bosco, the Titanic Jazz Band Frank Ryan and the Bel Canto Choir among those set to perform over the weekend.
Cllr Corcoran has also taken the unusual step of donating her statutory mayoral payments to cover the cost of prizes for a children's art competition.
"The festival promises to be a cultural treat for the people of Fermoy and the surrounding areas and my sincere hope is that it will become an annual event," said the mayor.