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Plenty of pickings for culture vultures

Hundreds of thousands of people around the country will be able to take part in various free events as part of 'Culture Night' tonight.

The night was created by Temple Bar Cultural Trust in 2006 to offer the public the opportunity to discover and explore iconic cultural venues, buildings and spaces on their doorstep for free after regular opening hours.

Culture comes in all forms on this night, with workshops, film screenings, visual arts, music, dance, drama and literature.

The whole occasion involves 2,255 visual artists, 1,745 musicians and 253 galleries and 70 museums opening late in 30 regions across Ireland.

More than 150,000 people are expected to take part in events in Dublin alone and hundreds of thousands more are expected all over the country.

Limerick city expects around 60,000 visitors to attend various events there, and Cork is prepared to entertain 35,000 people.

Donegal and Galway expect a turnout of 5,500 and 10,000 people respectively, while 18,000 are expected in Belfast.

Culture Night kicks off today at 11am in the Irish Film Institute in Dublin. Yesterday, the acts were in high spirits as they prepared for the event.

The girls from Tallaght Community School Dance Team were "hysterical with excitement". The troupe of 14, aged between 14 and 17, and taught by Louise Kelly, will perform 'Don't rain on my parade' in the old Temple Bar area at 6pm.

"It's been a whirlwind getting ready over the last few weeks," Ms Kelly said. "It was a big surprise to get picked."

Meanwhile, Denise Donnelly, from the Doorway Gallery on South Frederick Street in Dublin, was putting the finishing touches on her event. It will involve burlesque models, fire eaters, and sketchings by leading celebrity cartoonist Niall O'Loughlin from 6pm.

Irish Independent