Culture Night To Blast Ireland Tonight

Tonight is to see a major celebration of all things Irish with the now annual Culture Night giving everyone the chance to experience something special.

In a showcase of the country's cultural and artistic attractions across the State, hundreds of venues will throw open their doors from 5pm in a celebration of arts and culture.

Coming 24-hours after massive celebrations of the annual 'Arthur's Day' by brewer Guinness, the party is about to start up all over again.

Culture Minister Mary Hanafin launched the festivities, and said it is now into its fifth year and growing all the time.

Culture Night is an evening where all forms of culture can be explored and enjoyed, from theatres, museums, cathedrals, galleries to artist studios and musical recitals. The event has been significantly extended for 2010 with 20 locations taking part and some 500 cultural venues in total will stay open late in all participating towns, cities and regions.

Culture Night has grown from a relatively scale cultural event in Dublin in 2006 to the significant cultural event it now is, attracting over 200,000 visitors last year and even greater numbers are expected this year for what it is hoped will be the biggest and best Culture Night to date.

Minister Hanafin said: "Temple Bar Cultural Trust, Fáilte Ireland and Dublin Tourism are all working with my Department and with many organisations and companies to promote what is great about our cultural tourism for audiences at home and for tourists visiting Dublin and Ireland.

"I am delighted too, that even more people will get the chance to experience cultural events as more areas than ever before are participating including the Gaeltacht regions for the first time."

Speaking earlier this week she said: "Culture Night has something for all ages and best of all it is free to participate, explore, learn and enjoy."


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