Bathing in a magic wash of colour in new festival

Spectacular light shows are to illuminate Listowel in a wash of magic colours as the town plays host to another innovative first for Kerry - Féile an tSolais, aka Festival of Light.

Over two days, venues across Listowel will be bathed in a kaleidoscope of warm colours and sparkling soundscapes thanks to the efforts of a group of talented young locals, working tirelessly this past year to bring one man's vision to life.

Festival of Light is the brainchild of Listowel light technician Paul O'Connor, who did the lighting for RTÉ comedies The Young Offenders and Bridget and Eamon, and whose work in his home town on Culture Night - projecting images of local poets reciting their work onto the streetscape - really captured the public imagination. Paul joins forces with numerous other local talents in the latest venture, among them artist Olive Stack, who recently took part in a similar event in North Carolina; proudly bearing her light-filled model of Listowel Castle (right) in a lantern parade.

Listowel's Festival of Light will also feature a lantern parade, among a number of highlights - including the special forest of light.

"The Forest of Light will really showcase Paul's work to perfection, in a magical experience for all the family at the Garden of Europe on Friday and Saturday of the Festival," branding expert Maeve Queally, who produced the eye-catching literature for the event, said.

Paul has even newly purchased much of the equipment necessary for the light show himself, with the Forest of Light transforming the Garden of Europe from 5.30pm until 9.30pm on both Friday and Saturday.

Also featuring are a range of workshops for young and old, a crafts workshop at the KDYS over two days; audio-visual poetry spectacle 'poetica illumina' at the Dandy Lodge (Friday 8-9pm); musical-instrument-building workshops; art exhibitions - including one by Olive at her gallery; and much more.

The Lantern Parade takes place at the Listowel Community Centre on Saturday from 6.30pm with a special pub theatre by candlelight at John B's bringing everything to a close from 9pm on Saturday night. Check out Facebook for full programme.