We couldn't even begin to hope to suggest the staggering variety of choice cultural happenings taking place across the country for this year's Culture Night celebrations - instead, we've picked six eclectic highlights that suggest the magic of this particular event. 

Go to the Culture Night website now and find some events close to you - you can pretty much guarantee that something fun is happening within a short travelling distance. And don't forget that RTÉ will be hosting a live extravaganza at Dublin Castle, the centrepiece of which is a spectacular outdoor concert hosted by Arena's Sean Rocks and featuring everyone from the RTÉ Concert Orchestra to Cavan rockers The Strypes - find out more here.

BELFAST

Ulster Orchestra - Gala Concert: A Carnival of Rhythm!, Waterfront Theatre from 7.45

Why not spend Culture Night in the company of an Irish music legend? Ulster Orchestra's 2017-18 season has a special start as part of Culture Night Belfast, celebrating music from both the old and new world, in particular the Latin American rhythms that are part of the heritage of UO music director Rafael Payare. IWhat's more, Ulster Orchestra Artist Laureate Sir James Galway returns to perform music closer to home: Riverdance composer Bill Whelan's flute concerto Linen and Lace was written for Sir James as soloist and is in Whelan's trademark style, drawn from the rhythms of Irish dance. More details here.

CORK

Vertigo: Doireann Ní Ghríofa, Bernadette Gallagher with Filology Jazz Trio, and Illustrated Perspectives, Cork County Hall, from 5.00pm

Hazel Hurley, an artist from Clonakilty, will be creating a live illustration on the windows of the top floor of Cork's County Hall, celebrating the landmarks which can be seen and the culture of Cork county, as well as inviting Culture Night goers to share stories and experiences of the landscape below to add to the illustration. Bernadette Gallagher will read some of her recent poems, interspersed with tunes by jazz trio Filology, and celebrated bilingual poet Doireann Ní Ghríofa will bring proccedings to a memorable close. More details here.

DONEGAL

Town Park Art Trail, Letterkenny, from 6.30pm

The Inishowen Carnival Group presents The Ancient Ones, celebrating spirits plucked from the pages of ancient Irish mythology. This walkabout and dance performance will feature performers from across Donegal with the Aisling Academy and Dynamic Waves, alongside two immense puppets! Come and meet Dagda the Forest Spirit, a half-stag/half-human symbol of life and fertility and The Morrigan Crow Spirit, a symbol of fate, death and the eternal cycle of life - performances take place at 7.30pm & 9pm. Also in the Town Park, the SpaceScape team will present an outdoor illuminated art installation inspired by the peaks of Donegal, while facilitating artists will host art-making sessions for children. More details here.

DUBLIN

Morning Gloryville, Meeting House Square, from 7pm

Morning Gloryville Dublin is an immersive morning dance party that allows people to shed their inhibitions in a conscious clubbing experience free of alcohol and other intoxicants. Bringing high energy dancefloors to 1000’s of Dubliners over the last three years, Morning Gloryville Dublin bring their first ever Night Gloryville to Culture Night this year to celebrate their 3-year anniversary in Temple Bar's Meeting House Square. Expect dancers, performers, hugs, conga lines, facepainters, drummers, DJs, MCs, yoga and massage all under one roof... or in this case, giant umbrella! More details here.

KERRY

Siamsa Tire, Tralee from 5pm

At Siamsa Tire, Culture Night will present It Takes A Village, a new dance show inspired by Ireland's new communities, their music, dance and songs, as well as choral performances by two Kerry choirs, Opus 96 and the Ardfert Singers, along with members of the National Folk Theatre Choir. Elsewhere, artist-in-Residence, Karen Hendy, working with some other local artists, will engage members of the public in the creation of an innovative visual art installation piece in the round gallery (suitable for 8 years and up), and younger children can help decorate a mural, created by artist Lisa Fingleton, with flowers and butterflies. More details here.

GALWAY

Ballybane Library present an evening with Mike McCormack and Alan McMonagle, from 5.30pm

Celebrated Galway authors Mike McCormack and Alan McMonagle will visit Ballybane Library for Culture Night 2017. Mike's stunning novel Solar Bones won the Goldsmiths' Prize in 2016 and was named the Bord Gais Energy Irish Book of the Year for 2016 - to add to this list of honours, it was long-listed for the 2017 Booker Prize. Alan McMonagle's poignant and acclaimed debut novel Ithaca was long listed for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2017. More details here.