Spraoi, pronounced spree, is the Irish word for fun, exuberance and celebration. The Spraoi International Street Arts Festival has been staged in Waterford, Ireland, since 1993. For three days each year residents of this medieval city take to the streets and enjoy an international programme of street arts and spectacle. The festival is staged on August Bank Holiday Weekend, always marked by the first Monday in August. Waterford’s narrow medieval streets, squares, quays, parks and historic buildings provide an atmospheric backdrop to Spraoi’s celebration of contemporary performance culture. The majority of the events are free and suitable for all ages.
Performers and musicians from around the world feature in the Spraoi programme each year. The festival programme features the Irish Premières of International work. Spraoi also produces its own work for the festival, including The Spraoi Parade.
The Spraoi Parade is a highlight of the annual festival. The parade is designed and created at Spraoi’s Studios located in Waterford City. It features hundreds of costumed performers, exotic floats, live music, special-effects and is created by a core team of professional artists aided by a large corps of volunteers. Typically the parade is created in Spraoi’s Studios over a two to three month period prior to the festival. It attracts approximately 40,000 spectators and is staged along a 1.5 km route through Waterford’s historic city centre.