SPRAOI – twenty three years in the streets!

spraoi 2015

Twenty three years!  Well, not every day, but once a year, in August. In this blog I will cover just 1/100 of all the theatrical and musical events, just a small fragment of the festive fun so that you plan your next visit to Waterford on August Bank holiday weekend.

Spraoi [spree] is a Festival of international street Theater and Music which takes place  in the city of Waterford, Ireland, since 1992.  Spraoi means play in Gaelic.

In the opening image you see an evil monster hold a human. It happened on the last night of Spraoi this summer, but the beginning of the festival was quite innocent. Sort of.

nun ruth

This is Musical Nun Ruth, a no-nunsense Sister, and a favorite of all, children and grownups.  I followed her for an hour and took many photographs.

nun ruth

Sister Ruth wins hearts with her hilarious antics and charming personality.

nun ruth

nun ruth

nun ruth

These three ladies are not impressed..


… but young children are excited  – she is very different from the nuns they know.

nun ruth

Tenth Avenue Band was another favorite.  They performed at Spraoi a couple of years ago, and it was delightful to see them again.


I cannot tell you how I love the band!

tenth avenue

Open air tango with Tango Waterford… Another fascinating experience, tales of passion, jealousy and envy! Watching the spectators was fun.  They pretended that they didn’t really care, but the said envy was written all over their face.  I should have enrolled for a class ten years ago myself, when it wasn’t too late…


Watching is not always fun. Look at these children waiting in the queue. The longest three minutes in their lives.


Grandma and her Grandson, the owners of identical, gorgeous hair, also waiting for somebody. A brass band is playing on their right, but they look in different direction.


A man is reading old ads displayed in the butcher’s window while waiting for his wife.


Unknown individual is reading today’s paper, waiting to clock out and go home, finally.


A dog is also waiting when it is time to go home. He has no idea that his owners are watching clowns. Or may be he knows?


Young gypsy girl from  Romania, with a scarred face and tired eyes, wants to go home too, but her parents wouldn’t be happy if she left. It is a festival time after all.


I have many photographs from Spraoi Parade taken over the years, but this year it was my first parade when I took only three pictures. One of them you have already seen – A monster and a human. Theme for this year was Evolution, and the monster was supposed to be a product of evolution or something like that.  Two photographs below were taken before the parade turned to The Quay. Raining or not, the street was packed.



I hope you read the link about the history of Spraoi. It will help you to understand why all these people were standing in the heavy rain, and why the others, in amazing costumes that took a year to make were walking through the city center, some of them with very little clothes.  It is just love.

Thank you for catching a glimpse of Spraoi with me.  Tomorrow early in the morning I am off for a few days, and this trip will hopefully feed my blog until Christmas 🙂 I am not sure about the internet connection, and apologize if I won’t be able to return your visits to my blog. I promise to catch up when I am back with something interesting to share.

IneseMjPhotographyHave a wonderful weekend!


  1. Wow, I imagine the fun and colourful the street parade was 🙂 Thank you for the tour and I love your street photography during the event – the image of a hidden person read the newspaper is especially wonderful one!

  2. I love your work Inese. I love the pictures and the narration. I can see why it is a popular event in your area as everyone appears to be having a great time! Thank you so much for sharing a glimpse into your world.

    1. Tina, thank you so much for your comment, and sorry for the late reply – I was away in the North of Ireland. I love to write about the things that make people smile 🙂 Once I wrote about a festival, and the blogger whose posts I really liked commented something like ‘ simple people having simple pleasures’, and he never visited my page again since. I felt sad for him. I post many pictures here before I retouch them, because it is not about me, about how good I am. I am sharing memories, and I know that people are never simple, and generally good.
      Hope you are well. I will visit all the blogs at the end of this week. I am way behind because of this trip.

      1. Dearest Inese,

        It is difficult to please everyone with our work so I do not even try too. I write, paint, draw, or express my feelings in some other way in order to give birth to them and to allow them to become tangible. Once we put our art out there it is hard to understand how and why someone cannot see the beauty and rarity of what we were blessed to capture. I am always pleased when someone else enjoys my work or when it can move their spirit deeply. However, when a person can see no value in it then I truly feel badly for them because they are not yet at a place in their life where wisdom or appreciation cannot permeate the shell they have built up around themselves. Perhaps they will eventually learn what was trying to be conveyed but it matters not to our work. We, as soulful artists must express ourselves whether or not a single person, other than ourselves, can discover what is being expressed. I love your work and appreciate each situation you are attempting to capture and they speak volumes to me. Please keep taking those wonderful glimpses of life that are so valuable because it is real, it is living, it is humanity. Be certain to take good care of yourself and never worry about the length of time it takes to respond. Living our lives tends to interrupt a process that can be set aside for a time.

        Hugs to you and a prayer for many blessings!

        1. Dearest Tina, thank you from all my heart for your reply! I am not defending my pictures 🙂 I am defending my subjects, the people in my photographs. I love them the way they are, and they are wonderful 🙂 Thank you again, you are always in my prayers, and your beautiful soul is a great example for me to be humble and thoughtful. Hugs and love,

          1. Ahhh, I understand. Simple people, we are all simple people. It is not the people the world sees as spectacular who move the world. No, it is the simple folk like you and I who affect change, love, healing, and whose simple lives put wondrous events into motion.Each of us were created for a purpose; therefore, we are all critical in the fulfillment in God’s plan.

      1. I checked out YouTube as you suggested. I saw a very short clip of him joking with a young man. Sister Ruth seems to have a larger than life personality. I’m sure “she” must be very entertaining.

  3. I love going to new places with your posts. Thanks for this, a perfect “after lunch experience” 🙂

  4. This looks like a great deal of fun! Loved seeing you photos from the event, people really seems to be enjoying themselves:)

    1. Thank you Inger! Spraoi is a big event. The parade was magnificent – the themes was ” The Origins of the Species”. I didn’t want to ruin my camera in the rain, so I wasn’t shooting…

  5. I am learning so much about Ireland reading your blog! Love the events and pictures! Have a great trip – look forward to your new pix!

  6. Inese
    Joy and laughter, a wonderful time for all.
    The ugly world goes away, at least for a while.

    Thank You for this finest of offerings.

    much love


    1. Thank you for stopping by, Cindy! There were so many fun characters in the streets, it was difficult to chose what to shoot. I had a chat with ‘Sister Ruth’ after he parked his van in my street, so it was the start of my photoshoot.

    1. Thank you so much! The parade is always the culmination of festive activities. Thousands line the streets on Sunday night. This year the rain was pouring, and I didn’t want to use my camera, so I was just watching 🙂

  7. Fascinating! Here in SF we have lots of similar street fests – at one of them The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence are always a big hit!

  8. Inese, I love your stories as much as your photos. The pictures of the people were as fascinating as those of the performers. What a wonderful event. So sad that it rained. (And even the picture of the rain was beautiful.) Enjoy your break, and try not to worry about replies. Mega hugs!

    1. Thank you so much Teagan! Your comments mean a lot. It is 12.25am, and I am leaving at 6am, and your comment is probably the only one I have chance to answer. Have a wonderful weekend you too! Hugs!!!

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