A five mete permanent sculpture of a rearing wild horse will be unveiled at the Leitrim Free Fringe Festival in Drumcoura this weekend.
The impressive wood and steel structure has been seven months in the making by a number of volunteers to mark the move of the Free festival to Drumcoura, from Ballinamore this year.
Work is continuing this week to have the artistic piece ready in time for the festival which attracts 70 international artists and a large number of revellers from around the country.
Local accommodation is booked out and Tracy Murray, one of the organisers of the seven year old festival said they are expecting around 500 people a day to the Free Fringe.
Artists Tina Brogan from Ballinalee and Denise Terry From Drumshanbo answered the call to create a unique sculpture on the site, in January this year.
Tina was the only female artist to work on St Mel’s Cathedral in Longford and Denise has worked on a large number of community art projects.
They came up with the idea of the wild rearing horse on account of the acclaimed equestrian and American Cowboy theme at Drumcoura.
The horse is a female Friesian and her name is Fíorláir, which translates as “true/lucky mare” and relates to the folklore about the mysterious seventh foal of a mare.
The finished product will be lit at night and will have shamrocks planted at her feet.
The sculpture has been over seven months in the making and has been worked on voluntarily by the artists as well as Michael Oliver from Fenagh who provided the tools and labour skill and Dave Hodson, Archery Instructor.
The steel design for the 5m high horse was created by and provided by Newtowngore Engineering, while Paul Reynolds in Mohill supplied the cedar, larch, spruce and birch wood.
The group of volunteers have been meeting on site 3-4 times a week (weather depending).
Tracy Murray told the paper while the festival will be packed away next week they wanted to leave behind a permanent reminder of the free spirit of the event, while also adding to the beautiful scenery of Drumcoura.
She hopes the sculpture will attract visitors and plenty of selfies!
She paid tribute to those who volunteered their time, the Leitrim Free Fringe Festival is also mostly volunteer led.
The Leitrim festival is one of four Fringe festivals in Ireland, Tracy said they took a break last year in Leitrim and were delighted to have 160 applicants this year to perform, they had to turn away 90 of the acts.
The organisers will feed over 400 people at the weekend and welcome any volunteers who would like to help out.
They hope the weather will stay dry but are delighted they can provide covered stages for each of the events, some of the stages are set out in the forest.
Organisers Tracy worked as a stage manager at Electric Picnic while Glenn Carroll directed parts of Bloom in Dublin.
They described the festival this weekend as a “mini body and soul.” They will “light up the woods” with 650m of lights.
Locals in the area have embraced the festival and support the events each year, Tracy said the events are suitable for all the family, and as it is free you can just turn up and try it out!