With society slowly but surely reopening paired with the arrival of some much-needed sunshine, summer 2021 is already looking pretty promising! Add in a festival or two and things finally feel as though they are returning to normal.
After a bitterly disappointing decision to postpone June Fest in 2020, the much-loved Newbridge-based festival is back with a bang this year and has a line-up that was certainly worth waiting for. While many of the programme highlights will be virtual, there is also a selection of open-air events that are suitable for all the family and will provide a welcome reason to get out and about for some safe socialising.
Run by White Lily Events, a non-profit organisation, June Fest will this year be celebrating its 10th birthday. Community collaboration is at the heart of the festival and while Newbridge is its home, it welcomes visitors in their droves from all over Kildare – as well as all around the country – each year.
The festival’s commitment to community and individual wellbeing is clear in this year’s line-up, with events such as Pilates in the Park and Lockdown Chats with Celtic Con on offer, as well as the official opening of Newbridge Family Resource Centre’s (NFRC) Sensory Garden.
The programme for 2021 spans the entire month, with an array of events suited to wide range of ages – and plenty on offer for the family to enjoy together.
Here is the lowdown on the “ones to watch” this June Fest:
- June Fest Treasure Hunt – 28th May to 13th June – FREE
- The June Fest Treasure Hunt will take you on a family friendly journey around Newbridge, exploring various nature trails, landmarks and the rich history of the town with the help of a downloadable map and worksheets. The task is to visit each of the 26 locations on the map and answer the 26 questions put forward, which may be done at any time up to 10pm on 13th Prizes will be in the form of vouchers for local businesses and are sponsored by Glenveagh Homes.
- Bands on the Bank Series – 2nd and 9th June – FREE
- ‘Small Steps’ at George Street – 6th-20th June – FREE
- An outdoor miniature exhibition by Kildare Art Collective, ‘Small Steps’ provides an opportunity for optimism and escape as we anticipate better times ahead. The small-scale works featured in the outdoor exhibition delightfully anticipate the varied ways in which we are preparing to live and work when real life resumes.
- Harry Potter Craft Workshop – 12th June at 2pm – FREE
- Newbridge Library will be celebrating Cruinniú na nÓg and the start of the Summer Stars children’s reading challenge with fun online workshops for all ages. In this workshop, children will learn how to make magical crafts, from Harry Potter themed bunting to ‘house-sorting origami’. There will also be some mindfulness exercises during the workshop. Suitable for 7-10-year-olds.
- ‘Hospital Food’ (Kildare Youth Theatre) – 24th and 25th June at 7pm – €5
- Set in the present day, ‘Hospital Food’ follows ten teenagers from the ages of 14 to 18, who are the residents of a teenage cancer unit in a city hospital. It is a play about friendship and is a celebration of the highest value of life: life itself. The play is performed by the young members of Kildare Youth Theatre.
- Yarn Bomb at Liffey Linear Park – all month – FREE
- Take a stroll through the Liffey Linear Park and enjoy ‘Bright And Beautiful’, this year’s installation from the Kildare Yarn Bombers. From woolly flowers, butterflies, bees and zany June Bugs to a knitted bench and a ‘Memory Lane’, created with 1,500 pom poms, this installation is not to be missed.
The full June Fest programme, with further information on events featured above as well as much more, can be found at www.junefest.ie.