Culture Night 2023 will see thousands of free events taking place across Ireland tonight, Friday, September 22.

The annual event, which is returning for the 18th year, is the biggest collective celebration of culture in Ireland. 

First held in Dublin's Temple Bar in 2006, Culture Night is run by the Arts Council in collaboration with local councils and cultural organizations and has now evolved into an all-Ireland event, with music, visual art, poetry, literature, and dance events taking place in hundreds of venues across the country. 

There are also guided tours and food-tasting experiences taking place in venues across the country. 

The iconic Gate Theatre in Dublin will be running a spoken word workshop for people of all ages and experiences between 4:30 pm and 10 pm on Friday, while there will be a community swim taking place in Salthill, County Galway, at 7:30 pm followed by the launch of the Trá na Mná (Ladies Beach) mural

Sligo Town will host storytelling, drawing, and clay workshops, while the Crawford Art Gallery in Cork City will host a wide variety of events. including music, poetry, talks, and exhibition tours.

There will also be an evening of astronomy under the stars in the Kerry Gaeltacht and a cabaret event at Cork's Marina Market

Meanwhile, Derry City host Wall Dances, which will see spectacular solos by local dance group Echo Echo projected upon the city walls. 

Maureen Kennelly, Director of the Arts Council, said Culture Night helps to showcase Ireland's "vibrant culture."

"One of my favorite things to see on Culture Night is generations of families and groups of friends, young and old, coming out to explore together and enjoy the richness and diversity of Ireland's culture today," Kennelly told RTÉ News.

She added that Culture Night was an act of generosity from the artistic community to "fling open their doors" and welcome people of all ages. 

"There is a whole spectrum that will attract people of all ages, of all tastes, of all backgrounds," Kennelly told RTÉ. 

She said she expects attendance at Culture Night 2023 to top last year's attendance of 750,000. 

Culture Minister Catherine Martin described Culture Night as a "major highlight" in the calendar and said it helped contribute to making a vibrant night-time economy. 

You can explore more of the events for Ireland's Culture Night 2023 here.