Festival Parade

Festival Parade

The Pageants

Have a look below at the pageant companies that featured in the 2016 Parade.

A series of workshops took place with young people around Ireland to discuss their views on future Ireland.  Ireland’s leading pageant companies responded artistically and will bring these thoughts and ideas to life with spectacular pageantry and performance during the Festival Parade 2016.


Spraoi - Home Above and Below

Working with their neighbours in Gaelscoil naDeise and Educate Together, Spraoi devised this wild and wonderful creation imagining a future where everone has a home.  There’s going to be more of us, lots more, and we’ll need more living space so Spraoi gets creative with this light-hearted look at some futuristic living spaces.   We don’t have to live on the land but either above or below it.  Floating homes, submersible dwellings, fantastic tree houses, you name it, anything is possible with a little imagination!

Spraoi is a well-established street theatre and spectacle company, based in Waterford, under the artistic directorship of Mike Leahy.  They are regularly commissioned by organisations and festivals nationwide.  The company also produces the hugely popular annual Spraoi Street Theatre Festival in Waterford.

In partnership with Irish Ferries


Inishowen Carnival Group - Cyberactive

Imagine a world where all the technological tasks which are currently carried out by devices such as phones and computers are completely integrated into the human body.  This pageant, inspired by the young people in Carndonagh Secondary School in Donegal, reflects on the continual downsizing of digital technology, portraying a world where all the technological tasks which are currently carried out by the likes of phones and computers are now part of our physical selves.  They’re built into our brains, our eyes, our ears, our hands, our mouths.   We’re all “cyberactive”.

Inishowen Carnival Group, under the artistic direction of Kevin O’Neill, have performed annually at the Parade since 1996 and regularly take part in festivals and events across Ireland and beyond.

In partnership with Ethiopian Airlines

Dowtcha Puppets - Coillte Nua

When asked to imagine a future Ireland young contributors at Dowtcha Puppet’s workshops, from Youth Work Ireland Gurranabraher, expressed a desire to reforest Ireland and bring back the woodlands and wildlife.  This year’s pageant from Dowtcha fuses Ireland’s past, where 90% of the country was covered in dense oak forest, with a future, where we cherish and protect our natural resources.

Wild boar, rabbits, fluffy baby owls and elegant giant elk roam amongst animated five-metre-high oak trees, slender saplings and acorns, accompanied by a bespoke score, composed by Rory McGovern.

Formed in 2002 by Cliff Dolliver and Mick Lynch, Dowtcha are Cork’s puppet specialists.  They develop and present original, high-quality puppet shows, visual theatre and workshops.  The company also produce visual spectacle and street theatre.  They have taken part in the parade many times since their first appearance in 2003.

In partnership with National Lottery

Artastic - Céad Míle Future

Inspired by the visions of young people from Bradog Regional Youth Service in Dublin’s north inner city, Artastic embraces the Dublin City of the future.  It’s a visual treat, a place of welcome for all, with the most unusual places to visit.  As we greet our guests with a warm heart and a big hug, Irish eyes will always be smiling. Their ideas bring you on a very colourful version of a futuristic tourist trail, from Moore Street, right through the city, and up to Dublin Zoo.

Artastic is a street spectacle company based in Kildare, under the artistic direction of Vijaya Bateson and Caitríona McGowan. Artastic has enhanced the cultural life of communities throughout Ireland. Their track record in conceiving new works and engaging a range of community groups is a testament to their passion for contemporary street theatre and all its artistic, educational and cultural potentialities.

In partnership with Fáilte Ireland


Brighter Futures - Laura goes to Mars

Laura goes to Mars to see if aliens are real!  Futuristic teenagers, Laura and her friends, suitcases and helmets at the ready, are off on the most exciting adventure of their lives.  Laura is being teleported to the vibrant red planet Mars.

On arrival they plant a flag of conquest, and make the most of their new home. But they’re not alone on Mars.  The Guardians of the Red Planet are aware of the newcomers, and are ready to protect their homeland.

Laura and her friends finally face the aliens.  At first suspicious, they gradually begin to trust and accept each other.  Laura is transformed by her encounter.  She goes home, bringing stories of her adventures, and a fresh perspective and openness to the world.

See Brighter Futures page for more information.

Dublin Institute of Technology - The Future is Present

Be enthralled as a city, society and spectacle emerge in front of you and wait and watch to see what the future holds.

The essential life element of an island nation is water.  Watch as a river of blue flows through the streets of Dublin and marvel as fish jump from the water and become birds. 
Magically, land rises from the water, birds will land and life will begin on the island. People will emerge and create their world around them.
Designed and performed by students at DIT the pageant celebrates the continuing creative cycle of life.

Students from the Dublin School of Creative Arts in Grangegorman, The Conservatory of Music and Drama in Rathmines as well as their colleagues from throughout the Dublin Institute of Technology have been involved in the creation and performance of this pageant piece.  The project is led by Barry Sheehan, Head of Design, Dublin School of Creative Arts, DIT.

City Fusion - Games On

The year is 2116 and a lot has changed in the area of sport, entertainment and physical achievement. Technology and innovation have allowed human powers to match that of fantasy game characters.  People are living to 130, and 70 is the new 40!

Ireland is hosting The Galaxy Games, a massive interstellar, theatrical sporting event. Fantasy gaming has met reality sport, and the stay-at-home gamer audience, by interactive play and telepathic voting, decides the fate of the players. Entertainment, personality and perseverance are as important as a physical accomplishment and sport is now open to a fantastical array of delicious play between real life and avatar characters.

In partnership with Dublin City Council

Click here to learn more about City Fusion Community and Outreach Project.

Buí Bolg - The Return of the Snakes

There are no snakes in Ireland.  Legend has it that this is thanks to Saint Patrick himself, who ran them out of the country in the 5th century.  The pupils from Wexford Educate Together NS imagined a future where they have returned.  Buí Bolg's pageant, "The Return of the Snakes" is a futuristic retelling of this story.  When massive, intelligent super-snakes threaten to take over Dublin, there's only one man for the job.  Together with his athletic team of crosier-wielding warriors, Saint Patrick will protect the people of Dublin from one of the biggest snakes you are ever likely to see!

Buí Bolg is a team of skilled, visual artists and engineers, performers and designers, led by Artistic Director, Colm Lowney.  Established in Wexford in 1994, the aim is to bring art onto the streets and make it accessible for all.

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