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Wednesday, 17 August 2022 | 11.7°C Dublin

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The Penstons: Naoimh, Amy and Leah.
Sarah Sparkles.
Teddy and Cathal Barry.
Simon Bourke
August 15 2022 12:03 PM
This year’s Rathdrum Summer Songs – Inland & by the Sea will feature entertainment for all the family with world-renowned musician, arts and crafts for the kids, and workshops in songwriting and dance across four days of fun. Running from Thursday, August 18 to Sunday, August 21, the event takes place in Rathdrum Memorial Park and opens with the Mobile Music Machine on Thursday at 4 p.m.
This family based concert will feature soprano Sandra Oman, Niall O’Sullivan (trumpet), Katie O’Connor (violin), and Frank McNamara (piano) and will see listeners will be treated to a light programme of family favourites, including themes from the musicals and films. This event is free to attend but booking is essential. 
Later that evening at 5.30 p.m. the Penston family, Naoimh, Amy and Leah, perform West End and Broadway hits alongside classical and Celtic crossovers. The Penstons have recently worked on collaborative TV performances and concerts and online collaborations inspired and driven by the Covid pandemic. This event is free but booking is essential.
On Friday morning from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. White Doodle Art will facilitate a fun geli plate printmaking workshop by foraging for fallen leaves, feathers and interesting objects to use as subject for your print. Learn about registration, composition, negative and positive space, ink and print a one of a kind print to take home. This activity is suitable for 4-8 year olds accompanied by an adult and is free but booking is essential. 
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Later that day from 12.30-3.30 p.m. there will be a introduction to songwriting workshop hosted by Createschool. This workshop is ideal for the complete beginner or for those who have been writing songs for a while and would like some fresh ideas and new skills. Createschool will guide you through the main elements of song and lyric writing and help you capture that great idea as a song to share with your friends and family. Suitable for 12-15 year olds. The ability to play an instrument is not a prerequisite. Free but booking is essential.
From 4 – 7pm join Aoife from Wicklow Willow for creative willow weaving workshops perfect for the whole family. Learn how to make little fish from willow rods and discover how willow grows and what it can be used it for. This event is also free but booking is essential.
That evening at 7.30 p.m. a free concert from Robbie Walsh and Sean Fox will be held in the park. Robbie is a bodhrán player who hails from Dublin. Brought up with a strong musical background, he learned his craft from Noel Dowling of Kilkenny and has long been active in the vibrant, session culture of Dublin. Sean is a singer-songwriter from Co Wicklow who has been creating music since 2015. He has shared a stage with Aslan and Jerry Fish and when not performing solo, Sean fronts indie rock band The Decades. Free but booking is essential.
Saturday’s festivities open with toddler time with Sarah Sparkles from 10 -11 a.m. Suitable for children aged 0-4 Sarah and her puppet friends will host a fully interactive show with stories, music, singing, and dancing. Free but booking is essential.
A tiny disco with DJ Mick follows from 11.30 a.m. to 12.30 p.m with dance favourites for the whole family. This event is free with no booking required.
White Doodle Art host a crown making workshop from 1-2 p.m. in which they will use recycled and repurposed materials to help participants cut, paste and design their very own summer songs crown. There will also be face painting in an activity designed for 4-8 year olds. This event is free but booking is essential. 
From 2.30 – 4 p.m. father and son Teddy and Cathal Barry host a social dancing event with a selection of tunes perfect for the whole family. This event is free but booking is essential.
White Doodle Art return at 4 p.m. for a mixed media collage workshop in which 8-12 year-olds can create a nautical/ marine life mixed media collage using interesting scraps of painted, printed and recycled paper materials. Free but booking is essential.
At 7.30 p.m. Paddy Casey, supported by Florence Road, will perform an intimate gig in the park. Paddy has headlined Irish festivals, Dublin Castle, played a week-long residency in the Olympia Theatre, performed his own headline concert in the RDS, and supported many top names worldwide including U2.  Florence Road is a Wicklow based, pop-rock band which has only recently started gigging but has already been featured in the Irish Times.. Tickets €15, visit eventbrite.ie
On the final day of the festival, Wicklow Local Sports Partnership presents FYI Dance Workshops from 12 – 2pm. Kids can learn hip hop grooves and skills in these two dance workshops with Zoe Patterson of FYI Dance Club. The first workshop from 12 -1 p.m. is specifically for 7-11 year olds while the second workshop from 1-2 p.m. is for 12 -17 year olds. No experience is necessary but a love of movement to music, expressing yourself and an enthusiasm for new learning is essential. Free and no booking required.
Wicklow Local Sports Partnership then presents a Balance Bike Taster Workshop from 2.30 – 4.30pm on Sunday, August 21.  Led by Andrea McCormick, a qualified cycling tutor, children aged 4-7 will be taught the fundamentals of cycling using one of six balance bikes available on the day. This is free with no booking required.
The Summer Songs event comes to an end with the Mia Parsons Quartet performing from 5 – 7 p.m. Featuring Mia Parsons on vocals, Myles Drennan on organ, Nigel Mooney on guitar, and Jerry Fehily on drums, this jazz show will draw the four days of fun and entertainment to a close. This event is free but booking is essential.
For further details visit wicklow.ie.

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