A guide to all the free, fun, family events taking place in Laois for Heritage Week has been launched. The week, which takes place from August 17th – 25th, aims to celebrate all the best of the built, natural and cultural Heritage of the county.
The theme for Heritage Week this year is “Past Times, Pastimes”, and it really seems to have inspired people, with events including vintage board games, flag-making, tin soldiers, the history of photography, vintage train rides, and a celebration of past times at Donaghmore Workhouse.
There is plenty for nature lovers too, with Wild Child Day on Wednesday 21st August celebrated with Forest fun for Families in Emo Park Woods and a children’s Wildlife Workshop in Abbeyleix Library.
The stories of historic houses and estates like Ballykilcavan, Stradbally Hall and Abbey Leix Estate can be explored through talks, walks and open days. Folklore, genealogy, townscapes, crafts and even the heritage of bridge have also inspired events!
The hugely successful Bulfin Heritage Cycle is back again, this year exploring Meandering Monks & Medieval Miles. A new addition for this year, the Twin Trees Festival in Ballinakill, will celebrate the heritage of Edwin Lutyens, designer of Heywood Gardens, whose 150th birthday is this year, The event includes “En Plein Air” painting, walks, talks and workshops on all aspects of garden heritage, as well as family fun, and promises to be hugely entertaining.
Catherine Casey, Heritage Officer with Laois County Council said “as always there has been a wonderful community response to Heritage Week, with over 70 events organised across the county. The awareness of the week seems to grow each year, and we are so grateful to the organisations, communities and individuals who organise events to celebrate their own local heritage each year.”
Laois Heritage President and Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons said: “Ireland’s heritage is as wonderfully diverse and unique as the communities, volunteers and individuals who champion it in its many forms. Heritage Week is an opportunity for us to come together in celebration of our traditions and stories, while showing appreciation to all those who help make them accessible to the public.
“With events that span music, the environment, history, and nature there really is something for everyone. As the summer holidays drawing to a close, the large selection of family-friendly events has appealed to those looking to make some lasting memories and end the break on a high note.”
National Heritage Week is part of European Heritage Days. These are a joint initiative of the Council of Europe and the European Union in which over forty countries participate each year. The main aim of European Heritage Days are to promote awareness of our built, natural and cultural heritage and to promote Europe’s common cultural heritage. Every year millions of Europeans visit historical monuments and sites throughout Europe on European Heritage Days. In Ireland we celebrate European Heritage Days with a full week of events throughout National Heritage Week.