Holywood gets a piece of the Culture Night action
Culture Night is coming to Holywood next Friday, September 21 - and the emphasis is on celebrating the riches to be found in the town itself.
Holywood locals are encouraged to turn out and enjoy the unique experience of Culture Night, a night of free entertainment, discovery and adventure taking place, not only in the town's Main Street but in a record 30 towns and cities right across the island, including Belfast.
The aim of Culture Night is to reinvigorate town centres, to open doorways to a renewed sense of community where local people and local businesses interact not just as proprietors and consumers but as partners.
As with all Culture Nights, local businesses, galleries, churches, historic houses, bookshops, artists' studios, restaurants, pubs and cultural centres will open their doors late into the evening welcoming people of all ages to taste and sample their cultural delights.
There will be local bands, dancers, jugglers, poets, choirs, actors, drum groups, hip-hoppers; all manner of performers from the professionals to the local artist, all for free.
Holywood's Culture Night will start with activities from the station platforms through the underpass, past the memorial and then from the Maypole up Main Street and beyond.
The basis of Culture Night is to promote an inclusive community spirit through connecting the cultural capital in the local community with service providers. On this one night in September people come together to showcase all that Holywood has to offer.
Bill Lockhart from Holywood Shared Town said: "We have been looking for a project to show the community spirit that makes Holywood such a unique place to live and work.
"Holywood Shared Town's ethos is that sharing and working together, organising to alleviate inequalities and any tensions in our community, makes for a better society for everyone.
"On that basis Culture Night is exactly the kind of event which achieves these aims and which we hope will foster a continuing effort to make Holywood a desirable place to live."
He continued: "Everyone from the local business community, the statutory agencies and our local artists, singers, poets, musicians, sculptors, dancers, anyone who has something to offer will link together to provide a night of free entertainment. Culture Night will be a night of celebration for everyone in Holywood."
The organisers are encouraging all local businesses, from hairdressers to supermarkets to keep their doors open and add to the atmosphere of the event.
"We believe that as in Dublin and Belfast this will be the start of forging new relationships between Town Centre businesses and our local community as well as an added bonus of increased footfall as thousands of people venture to the Town Centre to be part of the festivities," said the group.
Culture Night is looking for performers who wish to showcase their talents on Friday September 21 and for businesses interested in hosting a performance in their premises.
Anyone interested in getting more involved can contact the organisers by phoning 07545 148 181 or emailing Holywoodculturenight@yahoo.co.uk.