With just over two weeks to go before the Conwy County National Eisteddfod Proclamation Festival, people across the county are busily preparing for a memorable day.
The Proclamation is held in Conwy, with a stage set up in Lancaster Square in the town centre for performances by schools and S4C’s Cyw and Friends, giving a taste of what’s to come in a year’s time when the Eisteddfod itself is held.
In line with tradition, a procession is held in early afternoon, including representatives from a wide range of local organisations and the Gorsedd of the Bards, to welcome the Eisteddfod to the area, and to welcome the area to the Eisteddfod. The procession starts from Bodlondeb Park soon after 14:00 and will walk through the town before returning to the Park, where the highlight of the day, the Proclamation Ceremony will be held.
Historically, the Eisteddfod’s intention to visit an area must be proclaimed at least a year and a day before the beginning of the festival. This is when the List of Competitions is published, which includes information for anyone wishing to compete this year.
The Archdruid, who is head of the Gorsedd, leads this important ceremony, and the chairman of the local executive committee, Trystan Lewis, will present the first copy of the List of Competitions to the Archdruid. Once the list has been presented, the competitions will be made public and copies will go on sale in shops across Wales as well as at the event itself.
A group of young girls from the area will also be taking part in the ceremony as flower girls. The Flower Dance is a colourful part of all the Gorsedd ceremonies, with 8-10 year old girls performing a dance based on the patterns of collecting flowers from the meadows and fields. The girls have been rehearsing for weeks, and will be performing for the first time in Bodlondeb Park.
A number of other events and activities will be held during the week, to raise awareness regarding the Eisteddfod’s first visit to Conwy County for almost a quarter of a century. These include a poetry competition, Mabolgerddi, held at the Bro Aled Community Centre, Llansannan on Tuesday evening 3 July, with prominent poet, Twm Morys adjudicating.
A Twmpath (folk dancing evening) will be held at Glasdir, Llanrwst on Friday evening 6 July, and following the Proclamation, Tecwyn Ifan will perform at the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art, Conwy. A Cymanfa Ganu (congregational singing festival) will be held at Seion Chapel, Llanrwst on Sunday evening 8 July at 18:00 to celebrate the Proclamation, and all are welcome to attend. Programmes available for £5 from Bys a Bawd, Llanrwst, Siop Lewis, Llandudno or on the door.
Executive Chair, Trystan Lewis says, “The aim of the day is to raise awareness of what’s to come next year, and to give people a taste of the Eisteddfod. It’s also a chance for some of our local talents to perform and let’s hope this will give them the confidence to compete in the Eisteddfod itself next year.
“We’ve been hard at work locally for a number of months, raising awareness and money and it’s great to see so much support for the Eisteddfod here already. Thank you to everyone who’s already been part of the preparations, which bodes well for the next few months and I hope people from all over Wales will join us for the Proclamation in two weeks time.”
Cllr Gareth Jones, Leader of Conwy County Borough Council, said, “To have the Eisteddfod within Conwy County is not only of importance economically, like many of our major events, but in terms of culture, education, and the Welsh Language it’s vital. We hope the residents of Conwy County, of all ages, will be enthusiastic and take the opportunity in being a part of this fantastic national event.
“The proclamation ceremony in Conwy town is a wonderful occasion to announce to everyone, both locally and nationally, we’re officially on countdown to the Conwy County National Eisteddfod in 2019. And a taste of what to expect next year.”
The Conwy County National Eisteddfod is held near Llanrwst from 2-10 August. For more information go online, www.eisteddfod.wales.