Merrion Square City Spectacular has hoops and whoops of joy

More than 150,000 people expected at Ireland’s biggest free summer festival

Office workers nearly dropped their sandwiches as a festival of street performers descended on the usually serene Merrion Square at lunchtime yesterday.

Audiences were agog as a performer danced with several hula hoops around her waist, while more were thrown at her from the sidelines as though it was a human ring toss.

Among those testing their bodies to the limit were The Lizard Man, hula hoopist and contortionist Lisa Lottie, contortionist Alakazam and strong lady Betty Brawn.

Merrion Square in Dublin will play host to Ireland’s biggest free summer festival this weekend. More than 150,000 people are expected to attend, with organisers saying this is their biggest year yet.


Another act attracting a crowd were Tina Segner and Ken Fanning of Tumble Circus who contorted themselves into all manner of shapes while singing French pop songs and ill-tuned covers of Whitney Houston.

Sporting vertiginous heels, Ken told the crowd he was the “better-looking sister” of the duo. “I’m finding it difficult to be a woman today, especially in these high heels,” he told the crowd. “Some set of pins you have though,” wolf-whistled one office worker.

Meanwhile, a bleach-haired Dr Kaboom was extolling the wonders of science and the magic of electricity to a rapt audience of young charges. “Are we ready for more science?” he asked wielding a light sabre at his audience. “Luke, I am not your father! Who would like to take part in an experiment,” he asked.

Volunteer Hannah rose to the challenge of the electrode experiment and placed two hands on the electricity bowl. She giggled with delight as her hair magically shot up like a troll doll.

Dr Kaboom explained the origins of electricity and how far we have come today as he showcased a powerful Tesla coil.

The Laya Healthcare City Spectacular runs until Sunday from 12-8pm and takes place next weekend in Cork’s Fitzgerald Park on July 16th and 17th. See