Thousands descend on Longford for another spectacular Longford Lights festival

Combination of artists, community, schools, volunteers and local authority shines

Press Release: 4 March 2023

Thousands of visitors descended on Longford Town over the last weekend of February, to enjoy the hugely successful and visually spectacular Longford Lights festival for 2024.

Longford County Council is delighted to confirm that yet again, over 11,000 visitors from near and far attended the event from 23-25 February. The event is a wonderful example of what can be achieved when the local authority and committed cohorts of the community join forces to support our arts community in doing what they do best.

Yet again, those thousands of people braved cold February temperatures to venture out and enjoy the burgeoning arts scene in Longford. Indeed, the scale of this visual arts event is yet to be matched nationwide, with the sheer magnitude of the numbers of artists, community groups and schools a feat of organisation in itself.

This year the festival doubled in size and involving twenty-three artists, twenty-eight art installations, forty-three schools and community organisations and thousands of lights. 

It was delivered by Longford County Council in partnership with Mide Arts Group, with funding support from Longford County Council, The Arts Council, Creative Ireland and Longford Tourism.

This project was unprecedented in the amount of employment it gave to local and national artists. This investment will help the artists and the Longford arts community develop increasingly more ambitious art events in the future.

In addition, as a result of the massive numbers attending Longford Lights, the town was exceptionally busy, with restaurants and pubs catering to large crowds of hungry festival goers.

“It was a pleasure and an honour to be the Artistic Director of Longford Lights 2024”, said Caroline Conway following the success. “I got to see first-hand what can be achieved through the arts to bring so many people together for a shared experience that takes them out of the everyday. This event is a catalyst for community arts in Longford and I have seen the Longford arts community grow in confidence and ambition to deliver this extraordinary event that touched so many people from all age groups and sectors of the community.”

Reacting to the event, Cathaoirleach of Longford County Council Cllr Colm Murray reflected on that fact. “Longford Lights has proven yet again to be a tremendous success," he said. "The strength of cooperation between all of the groups involved goes to show that we are nothing without our communities. Our people and their talents and determination are the heart and soul of Longford and their light is what really shined over the course of this event.”

“Over 11,000 people passed through the gates of Connolly Barracks, with many slots fully booked out over the weekend. Those lucky enough to attend experienced a wonderful display of art, creativity and light that highlights the abundant talent of the people of Longford - and the county's drive to nurture artistic talent," he said.

Longford County Council Chief Executive Paddy Mahon said, “I’d like to congratulate Artistic Director Caroline Conway, all of the artists, community groups, schools and volunteers who came together with Longford County Council and Mide Arts Group to create Longford Lights. Longford County Council was delighted to be involved in delivering this spectacular event which brought thousands of people from near and far, and from all over Ireland, to visit our county town. The photographs and videos on social media speak for themselves. We are already looking forward to Longford Lights 2025.”  

A simple search for Longford Lights 2024 on social media will unearth a wealth of images, videos and enthusiasm for the event that will leave you looking forward to 2025 already.