Roll up, roll up for the big parade!
WEXFORD will be transformed into a riot of colour, sound and spectacle on Saturday, when arguably the greatest parade the town has seen takes to the streets.
The Spiegeltent is coming to town and is celebrating the event in spectacular style.
More than 100 performers - grinning clowns, dancing polar bears, happy hamsters, horse acrobats, giants, drummers and fire breathers will dance and wave their way along Main Street, led by the ringmaster of the tent, the Mysterious Maynard Perdu.
Maynard, by the way, is the subject of a novella by Billy Roche, being launched in the tent on October 22, with Jack L on hand to sing, the day before the festival opens.
During Saturday's pre-festival parade, copies of The Spiegel Times, an 'old style' newspaper designed especially for the Festival, will be handed out by old-style 'paperboys'. You will also find The Spiegel Times in this newspaper today, as a special pullout.
The parade is a collaboration between the organisers of Spiegeltent Festival Lantern.ie and Wexford's Buí Bolg, one of Ireland's best street spectacle companies.
Buí Bolg have been transforming streets and spaces across Ireland and further afield since 1994 and this will be their largest local event for some time, if not the biggest.
Buí Bolg's artistic director Colm Lowney said the group was delighted to be part of the Spiegeltent Festival celebrations.
'It's an opportunity for local people to see us on our home soil and to check out the bubbling, young talent of our youth group,' he said.
The parade will start at 2 p.m. outside the Sky and the Ground on South Main Street and travel the length of Main Street to Selskar Square.
A giant park bench will act as a backdrop and a stage to a finale of fire performers accompanied by the explosive sounds of Wexford's own drumming group Bloco Gorman.
Brian Byrne, of Lantern.ie said the carnival parade was a great way for the Spiegeltent organisers to bring the very best of free street entertainment to Wexford town for both locals and visitors and also to bring activity to shops and cafes along the main street.
The parade is co-founded by the borough council and the Spiegeltent organisers.
'We are very grateful for the support we receive from Wexford Borough Council, Wexford County Council and of course local people who buy tickets for our festival.
'This is our way to say thanks to everyone who has made the Spiegeltent Festival possible.'
The Spiegeltent is due to erected on Thursday (October 17) allowing a few days to ready it for the official opening on Wednesday, October 23.
The Wexford People is the official media sponsor of this year's Spiegeltent Festival.