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Bloomsday Cometh!

James Joyce fans celebrate the events of June 16, 1904

The University at Buffalo is home to the largest collection of James Joyce materials in the world, and our city is also home to the Irish Classical Theatre Company. How fitting that we should maintain an annual celebration of Bloomsday, joining hundreds of cities around the world in the festivities surrounding the international celebration of James Joyce’s literary masterpiece Ulysses, on Thursday, June 16!

Both Joyce aficionados and the uninitiated are invited to follow a day in the life of Leopold Bloom and his fellow Dubliners, the novel’s protagonists, on what would be the 107th anniversary of their adventures. The events of novel, of course, take place all on one day, June 16.

Fans of Ulysses and that amazing day in 1904 from in and around the Buffalo-Niagara-Southern Ontario region will gather at the Andrews Theatre, on Main Street in downtown Buffalo, from 5pm to 10pm for the 14th annual celebration, which promises to be “a fun-filled evening of readings, performances, music, food and drink.” Bloomsday is free and open to everyone.

Organizers expect this to be the largest Bloomsday celebration in the history of the event in Western New York. The festivities, including music and dance, should spill out onto Main Street as the readings, performances and music of the era continue inside the theater. Participants can take part in the annual raffle, Bloomin’ Sweepstakes, which offers various prizes.

Then, for those who want more, the event features “The Cyclops Session,” based on Chapter 12 of Ulysses set in Barney Kiernan’s Pub, which will take place at Ulrich’s Tavern (674 Ellicott Street). Ulrich’s will assume the name of Barney Kiernan’s for the day.

Attendees will be guided through Joyce’s novel, chapter by chapter, by emcee Professor Laurence Shine, and hear readings by Vincent O’Neill, co-founder and artistic director of the Irish Classical Theatre Company; ICTC artist-in-residence Josephine Hogan; and “prominent local actors, business leaders, dignitaries and Joyce fans from all walks of life.”

Bloomsday Buffalo is sponsored by the Irish Classical Theatre Company and Riverrun.

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