Pictured at Fitzgerald’s Park are performers from Cork Puppetry Company, Alex Hindmarsh as the Horse, Noelle O’Regan as the Eagle, and Natasha Bourke as the Fish. Photo: Cathal Noonan

It’s the final countdown!

Are you ready? It’s almost time for one of the cultural highlights of the year!

Cork City Culture Night returns on Friday evening with a hybrid mix of in-venue, outdoor and online events ensuring all audiences and interests are catered for.

Culture Night is always one of the best nights of the year with a smorgasbord of delights on offer all over the city. All are available to view on culturenightcork.ie.

Now in its 16th year, this year marks a re-birth of the arts and culture scene in Cork and some of the performers can’t wait for Friday night!

Fitzgerald’s Park will be the focal point of this year’s celebrations in Cork City with an impressive line-up of events from 4pm. Upstaged – Culture Night at the Park promises an evening of circus, music and art.

Director of Cork Puppetry Company Elisa Gallo Rosso said the group are excited to participate in the event: “We are interested in creating episodes of absurdity, and finding special worlds in the normality of daily life, so we invite the people of Cork city to have fun with us and maybe even becoming the unexpected protagonist!”

Rebel Brass Band will also be providing live music on the night. Rebel Brass Band’s Amy O’Callaghan said: “We haven’t performed together since before the lockdown so we’re really looking forward to playing in Fitzgerald’s Park. We started rehearsing again in August and even in the city itself, it’s been picking up with people starting to play live music around the streets again.”

She added: “It’s so nice that we get to celebrate the arts sector in Cork city again for Culture Night because we are so rich in culture and heritage and music, and we’ve been hidden away for so long.”

Also in Fitzgerald’s Park, Cork Public Museum opens until 8pm, both for booked tours and more casual visits, subject to capacity. Sample Studios in the Lord Mayor’s Pavilion is showing Graduate Artist in Residence Lily O’Shea’s solo exhibition until 7.30pm.

Elsewhere across the city, Music Generation Cork City are hosting a host of events online, in venue and outdoors from rap to trad. Resource worker Aida Whooley said: “We’re absolutely delighted to be back performing at live events again – and Cork City Culture Night is a really important one for us. We’ve been involved since our launch in 2012 and it’s one of the highlights of our calendar. We’ve got a mixed selection of events this year - we’re thrilled to be able to host outdoor and in-venue events again.”

“Our rap, beats and song writing workshop with GMC Beats at the Kabin Studio is usually really popular, so we would encourage people to register their interest on this. The musicians from Creative Tradition will be rehearsing this week ahead of the open trad session we’re collaborating on for Culture Night, and we can’t wait for this.”

Also in musical mode this Culture Night is Elizabeth Fort. Visitors can walk the walls and take in the view, while perhaps being entertained by Cork City Musical Society who plan to pop up in full song.

Culture Night at Nano Nagle Place is always a memorable evening and this year it offers those who wish to experience this historic venue have both online and in venue options to choose from.

The museum will be open on the night and will feature the wonderful ‘Changing Habits: 250 Years of Convent Life’ exhibition. Violinist Caitriona O’Mahony will be accompanied by organist James Taylor to perform the Glorious Mysteries live on the night, while a virtual concert of the same will also be released on their website.

Some of the events on Culture Night have limited attendance or require pre-booking, and with limited spaces available, they may be fully booked. Those planning to attend events are advised to check the website, the Cork City Arts Facebook and Twitter pages and @culturenightcorkcity on Instagram. For more on all events on the Cork City Culture Night programme, visit culturenightcork.ie.

Join the conversation online with #CorkCultureNight and #ComeTogetherAgain.

Cork City Culture Night is brought to you by the Arts Council in partnership with Cork City Council and is proudly supported by media partners the Cork Independent, CorkBeo.ie and Cork’s Red FM.