30 December 2020

News from the Ulster American Folk Park

The BIB editor reports:

The Ulster American Folk Park at Omagh, Co. Tyrone, posted on Christmas day this early-20th-century greetings card on its Facebook.

On visiting the Park's website, what you'll hear first is the genial voice of Richard Hurst, director of customer services (and leader of the organising team of the Bluegrass Music Festival which the Park has held annually since 1992), announcing on a YouTube video: 'The Ulster American Folk Park is open again!' What you'll see first is an official statement that under the latest government guidance, the National Museums of Northern Ireland will remain closed for six weeks from 23 December. So if plans remain unchanged, Richard's welcome (recorded in August 2020) will be effective once more from 3 February 2021.

Since September the Park has a new online facility, Folk Park Live! Songs of the settlers. This now comprises eleven videos by Irish artists singing and/ or playing songs and tunes from both sides of the Atlantic, linked in one way or another to the emigration experience. The videos were each recorded in a different location in the Park and released in sequence on the Park's Facebook; all can now be accessed on the Park Music Tour page. Song texts shown on the website are not always the same as what is sung in the videos.

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