XKilkenny will know this Friday whether its bid with Waterford and Wexford to host the European Capital of Culture 2020 (ECOC) has been a success or not.
The region has been abuzz with excitement and putting in place final preparations ahead of the ECOC selection panel's arrival. Two panellists, Sylvia Amann from Austria and Christina Farinha from Portugal, touch down in the region tomorrow (Wednesday).
They are embarking on a one-day visit incorporating the cultural highlights of Kilkenny, Waterford and Wexford. Three Sisters is urging everyone to come out on the streets to show their support for the event, and give a cheer as the panel and the bid team walk by.
The panellists’ visit will be action-packed, beginning with a tour of Wexford National Opera House. There will be visits to Waterford City Hall, Spraoi International Street Arts Festival workshop and Kilkenny Collective for Arts Talent at Callan, along with a range of other site visits and activities.
The day will finish at Kilkenny National Craft Gallery with the Presentation Girls School Kilkenny choir performing a farewell recital.
Across the region, businesses and retailers have also been preparing for the visit, by bringing a little bit of Europe to the region with eye-catching window displays. Cultural champions, including star jockey Davy Mullins, Waterford playwright Jim Nolan and Wexford potter Mairead Stafford, each directed window displays at Kilkenny Design Centre, Fitzgerald Menswear Waterford and The Book Centre, Wexford respectively. Several other businesses have also participated in the initiative.
The Three Sisters bid (Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford) is competing against Galway and Limerick for the title. Either way, we will know who the winner is this Friday.
Bid director Michael Quinn is encouraging the public to actively support the bid as the panellists arrive.
“In these last few days, the public’s support on social media is crucial,” he said.
“We have seen an outpouring of support so far and we are hugely grateful for this. As the final countdown gathers pace, I would urge everyone who wants to see Three Sisters host the 2020 European Capital of Culture to like and share our posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and encourage friends and family to take action on social media also.
“With the public’s support, I am confident we can secure the ECoC title.”