The Freelancing Knights of Redemption will appear at Le Cheile in Oldcastle this year.
Oldcastle is preparing for its 15th Le Cheile Festival, which takes place from Thursday 2nd August to Monday 6th August.
With the festival growing annually, this year the town has united to ensure a smooth, safe and efficient weekend of family entertainment.
With the addition of Sheridan's Cheesemongers in overseeing and running the open air markets to take place on 4th and 5th August, the Oldcastle Chamber of Commerce has partnered with the Le Cheile committee to ensure this new venture goes off without a hitch.
Festival PRO, Fergus Govern, said: "With the addition of the Sheridan's brand to this year, we have had to come to terms with the fact that the streets of Oldcastle are going to be heaving with welcome visitors and patrons.
"Sheridan's regularly pull in huge crowds of over 3,000-4,000 at their other events nationwide, so we knew that we would need to get the town involved in order to help us marshal this event."
He said Oldcastle Chamber has enthusiastically joined the group to help stage the open air markets. Parts of the square will be covered with a huge marquee to house the 40-plus stalls of artisan foods, crafts and children's events over the Saturday and Sunday.
The chamber also is working closely with businesses in the town to manage traffic flow, parking and re-routing, where necessary, over the weekend, and a plan is being put in place, in conjunction with local gardai, which will see volunteers help with directing and informing patrons of the available parking over the weekend.
Oldcastle Credit Union has also joined with Le Cheile in sponsoring the children's events this year, which will include street performances, face-painting, theatre, bouncy castles, bungee trampolines and a host of other events.
One of the highlights will surely be the fire sculpture and fire dancing on the Square, with Babylon's Inferno. Another exciting event will be the addition of the Freelancing Knights of Redemption (FKOR), a troupe of medieval re-enactors that have featured in many Hollywood movies, including 'King Arthur', with Kiera Knightly and Clive Owen.
The FKOR will stage live shows at the Square, with authentic weaponry, armour and period dress.
This year, an emphasis being placed on opening up some of the units in the town that have been empty due to the economic downturn. These units will feature as pop-up shops, and will house the 'public hanging' art exhibitions and children's art workshops this year.
Organised by local artist, Dave Gavin, the units will be dusted off, re-opened and provide artists with hanging space, and also allow the parents of Oldcastle to bring the youngsters on an art trail through the various shops, while allowing the sale of works of arts for the artists involved.
Also on board this year are the Gilson Endowed Trust and board of governors, who have allowed the addition of a time capsule to the grounds of the Gilson School. The capsule will house snippets of modern-day history, news items, details of local clubs, societies, items detailing the cost of living today, and details of this year's festival.
The capsule launch will take place shortly after the festival finishes, and will not be re-opened until 2037, which will give an idea about how life in Oldcastle and Meath has changed in those 25 years.
Other associations on board this year include the Oldcastle Tidy Towns Committee, Civil Defence, GAA, soccer club and writers' club, which will launch its second book of prose, 'This Won't Hurt', a collection of A&E medical stories and anecdotes.
Fergus Govern added: "It's always a great weekend when Le Cheile kicks off in August, but we've a feeling this year is going to be even bigger and better than before, and that's before we even mention the huge music gigs we have with The 4 of Us, The Walls, Bressie, Paddy Casey and the Republic Of Loose.
"I think it's great that so many organisations have realised the huge amount of effort we put into this festival year after year, and without doubt, their help and enthusiasm will benefit both the festival and the town immeasurably. All we need now is the weather, and we've a man on that job as well!"
For details and ticket information log onto www.lecheile.com or follow the updates on facebook.com/lecheile for chances to win tickets.
An information line is also available and open for any queries on (086) 877 2716 or via firstname.lastname@example.org
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