A taste of Ireland, Brazil, Poland, Chechnya and Latvia was on offer on Thursday night, as the Roscommon’s first Fringe Festival was launched at a function held in the Melting Pot café. Kristy Verenga, a member of the hardworking festival committee, was MC for the evening and she outlined the diversity of workshops and performances scheduled to take place this weekend at the festival. Joseph Nyirenda of Roscommon Partnership was guest speaker. He praised the efforts of the committee in securing highly qualified workshop presenters from as far away as Italy, Dublin and Galway. He also outlined the many events taking place, including world cuisine at the Roscommon Farmers’ Market on Friday 10th from 11 am to 1 pm and the world food workshop on Saturday 11th from 2 pm – 4 pm at the Read Centre, Lisnamult. He went on to say that art, music and dance become our common language when words fail us and urged everyone to attend workshops offering Brazilian capoeira, African drumming and Afro-contemporary dance. Those who like to party are also catered for with a ‘World Beat’ disco with DJs Pedro and Barra at Mac’s bar, Castle St. on Saturday night. Joseph went on to thank the various community bodies for their generous support. A video presentation prepared by the committee highlighted other events taking place, including a bat walk at the castle on Friday 10th at 8.30 pm, a green bike tour of the town on Sunday 12th starting at 2 pm from Art Lane Studios, Antogher Rd. and a picnic (bring some extra to share if you like) and performances in The Tent also on Sunday at Art Lane Studios starting at 3 pm. Parking is limited at Antogher Rd so please use the town car parks and walk or cycle to the venue. It’s only ten minutes from town – enjoy the sculpture exhibits at the public park in Abbeytown on the way. Roscommon County Mayor, councillor John Kelly officially opens the Fringe Festival at the old AIB building, Church St. at 7 pm on Friday 10th, where the ‘Open Eyes’ art exhibition takes place. The art exhibition is open over the weekend, 11 am – 6 pm. Watch out for the Fringe Festival brochure with a more detailed listing of workshops and events or telephone or text (086) 3359486 for information.