independent

Sunday 23 September 2018

Busy Buí Bolg set for five parades

Colm Lowney in the Bui Bolg workshop yesterday (Monday)
Colm Lowney in the Bui Bolg workshop yesterday (Monday)

Maria Pepper

Street theatre company Buí Bolg will transform the streets of Dublin into a giant living room for a 'Home is Where the Hearth Is' spectacle on St. Patrick's Day which will also see the Wexford outfit appearing at parades in Cork, Dundalk, Derry and Waterford.

The Dublin pageant entry due to be seen by thousands of people will feature the largest high-back arm chair ever seen, followed by a giant moving carpet and a huge fireplace with inflatable flames in keeping with the overall theme of 'Home'.

All the floats were made by hand in the Buí Bolg workshop in Whitemill Industrial Estate and will be brought to life by interactive performers from Buí Bolg's youth group acting as dancing flames, living room hosts and circus performers.

Founded in Wexford 23 years ago, Buí Bolg has been taking part in the Dublin St. Patrick's Festival parade since its inception, bringing more impressive floats and characters to the capital city every year.

Renault Ireland, the Official Vehicle Partner of the Dublin parade, also commissioned the leading Wexford company to create a spectacle to lead the artistic section of the Dublin parade that will include a giant carousel with flowers and leaves, symbolising Renault's dedication to going green.

For the Cork parade, Buí Bolg responded to the theme of 'Democracy for All -100 years of the Vote for Women', creating a massive ballot box topped with the Venus symbol and a circle for an aerialist performer.

A kaleidoscope patchwork has been made to represent a tapestry of fields, forests and bogs, playing on the image of the landscape being held together by the matriarchs of the country with the scale of the ballot box drawing attention to the importance of democracy.

Buí Bolg will have two floats in the Dundalk parade, sponsored by Dundalk Credit Union which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, in conjunction with Dundalk Chamber of Commerce. The theme is 'Dream Big' and the floats will include a dream-like cityscape and a large inflatable rainbow arch.

The Wexford outfit are also bringing their famous Púca to the Dundalk parade. The six-metres long sea serpent is constructed from linked trailers and despite its immense scale, can make its way down any winding parade route.

Buí Bolg will also be parading through the streets of Derry on St. Patrick's Day, bringing with them a giant inflatable snake which was sewn at the Whitemill workshop in 2016. The coiling serpent is six metres high and slithers through the streets with an impressive 25 metres in length. It will be a challenge for St. Patrick to banish this reptile.

Buí Bolg will be paying homage to the Viking roots of Waterford with a towering, animated scuplture of Thor, the Norse God of Thunder. Mounted on a float base, he stands 4.5 metres high and like thunder, he will roll through the streets on St. Patrick's Day. Last year, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Wexford St. Patrick;s Day parade, Buí Bolg was invited to stage a full-scale home-town specacle for the special occasion. This year, it will be left to Wexford Albion soccer club to fly their flag locally with a giant puppet and football made by the company.

Wexford People

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