After another successful year in 2020, no-one ever imagined that so much would have changed by St David's Day 2021. With Covid-19 measures still in place and a festival usually shaped around live events, we had to rethink how Bangor could celebrate St David's Day 2021.
But by pulling together, thinking creatively and using new technology the organisers of #GŵylDewiBangor2021 have decided to move online this year (more or less) - and the festival looks better than ever!
Between 24 February and 5 March 2021, a series of live and virtual events have been organised jointly by Pontio, Menter Iaith Bangor, Penrhyn Castle, Storiel, Creative Gwynedd, Bangor City Council, Adra and Learn Welsh North West Wales for residents of the city and beyond to join in the fun from home and celebrate St David's Day safely.
The festival will feature a wide range of activities including live musical performances, craft lessons, cooking and gardening, quizzes, an online shop window decoration competition, and plans to transform the Clock and Bangor High Street into red, white and green to celebrate the day of our patron saint.
An exciting new addition this year will be a virtual session with other Bangors of the world. The virtual session will be held on St David's Day. It will give individuals the opportunity to enjoy and learn more about the Welsh celebration and the patron saint of Wales. We hope that the links between Bangor, Gwynedd and the other Bangors will provide a golden opportunity to build friendships over the next few years by doing the small things together. The session will include Bangor Northern Ireland, Tasmania, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania in the USA!
Mair Rowlands, Chair of Menter Iaith Bangor and a Councillor on Bangor City Council said:
"2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, and while it is difficult to organise any face-to-face events at such a time, we felt that this was an opportunity for us to evolve as a festival and offer some hope and joy during the most recent lockdown period. So this year the festival is moving more online so everyone can join in the fun from home, sofa or dance to a virtual gig in their kitchen!"
Creative Gwynedd and Gwynedd Council’s Community Arts are delighted to be part of Bangor's St David's Day celebrations. It is great to see organisations continuing to offer a variety of activities and events during these constraints.
Osian Gwynn, Pontio's Creative Director added: "I'm delighted that Pontio Arts is part of Bangor's St David's Day events again this year. It shows that there is a strong community here in Bangor, which works closely together, for the benefit of the community and the Welsh language. Community engagement as well as promoting the Welsh language are very important priorities for us and I believe that by working together in this way we can reach further and have more of an influence.
Elin Williams, Adra's Community and Partnerships Manager said,
“The Welsh language is central to the life and culture of the communities we work with, and partnering to promote this is very important to Adra. We are therefore delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate Wales' patron saint's day in this way. It will be great to see our residents at Llys Dewi Sant in Bangor marking the occasion by sharing bara brith and Welsh cakes with them. Activities like this are so important to bring a smile to the faces of our residents during such a challenging time. ”
Rhys Thomas, General Manager of Penrhyn Castle said “I'm delighted that we can be part of the enthusiastic community in Bangor that celebrates St David's Day. Bringing everyone together is very important to us, even in a digital way. We are proud to share our patriotism, our language and our heritage. It's good to be part of the festival and have the opportunity to share tips from Geth in the Garden. Also, to promote learning Welsh and reflect on how the area and its people have inspired the Castle's Curator to learn Welsh.”
Details of all the events ar on our Facebook page @GwylDewiBangor – https://www.facebook.com/gwyldewibangor
Go to individual organisation’s websites for further information.