Carrick-on-Suir is gearing up for a bumper long weekend of concerts, folk music sessions, art events, sport and fun as the sixth annual Clancy Brothers Festival brings thousands of visitors to the town.
Singer/songwriters Damien Dempsey, Charlie McGettigan and Jimmy Crowley are the well known folk music artists performing in concert at the Festival, which will also include a vibrant programme of art exhibitions and street art, a river festival, food festival, music and singing competitions and sessions, lunchtime drama and much more.
The Festival was officially launched by Mayor of Carrick-on-Suir Cllr Liam Walsh at a function in Ormond Castle on Monday evening that was attended by local dignitaries as well as relatives of the famous Clancy Brothers ballad group.
A group of traditional musicians gave guests at the launch a preview of some of the great music that will be performed around the town at the Festival and there was an exhibition of local artists’ paintings.
The Mayor appealed to the people of Carrick-on-Suir to support the festival over the coming days and expressed the hope that the sun will shine on the town.
He said the Festival was established in 2008 to honour the rich music legacy of the Clancy Brothers and he believed it had more than achieved this.
“I know in the current environment that organising a festival and securing funding can be daunting. However despite the many challenges, the Festival Committee has continued to organise a wonderful variety of events and I thank them for putting together such a comprehensive programme of events again,” Cllr Walsh added.
The Festival will kick off with the Clancy Concert in Brewery Lane Theatre at 8.15pm tonight Wednesday featuring performances from the talented sons, daughters and other relatives of the Clancy Brothers.
Finbarr Clancy of The High Kings, Ryland Teifi, Roisin Clancy and Donal Clancy will be among the performers.
Festival Committee Chairman Ross Clery said there are still some tickets available for the Damien Dempsey concert at The Strand Theatre on Friday night. Cork based folk quartet The Mandolas will support Dempsey.
Ross pointed out Damien Dempsey will be supporting Bruce Springsteen in Kilkenny and performing at the big Iveagh Gardens gig in Dublin later this summer so it was quite unique to have him performing in the intimate surroundings of The Strand this weekend.
Jimmy Crowley will perform in Brewery Lane on Friday night and it will be the turn of Charlie McGettigan to perform at that venue on Saturday. The former Eurovision Song Contest winner will also host a song writing workshop at Brewery Lane on Saturday afternoon.
Festival visitors will also have plenty of music and singing sessions to savour in the town’s pubs. Pubs participating in the festival music sessions trail include The Old Mill, Figgerty’s, The Comeragh, O’Ceallachain’s, Pollards, Powers Tullahought, The Strand Bar, The Gate Bar, Croke’s Bar, Maggies, The Premier Bar and The Carraig Hotel.
There will be a busking competition in the town centre Saturday afternoon, a folk club in Brewery Lane on Thursday night, the Eoghan Power Memorial Song Contest in Figgerty’s Pub on Sunday night and a lunchtime production of WB Yeats “The Pot of Broth” at Brewery Lane on Friday.
There will also be plenty of outdoor family events. The highlight will the River Festival at Sean Healy Park on Bank Holiday Monday that will include cot, raft and duck races and an open air concert featuring local band Amber Jean, the Fayreweather traditional group and Two Time Polka Cajun music group. There will also be demonstrations of traditional craft, boat building, live angling and a Viking re-enactment.
Art fans will be spoiled for choice. There will be exhibitions at venues throughout the town displaying the work of more than 100 local artists, photographers and school children and also eye catching street art.
Other Festival events will be a river walk to Dove Hill on Sunday, a walking tour of Carrick on Saturday, Bobby Power Carrick Wheelers Challenge Sportive cycle race on Sunday morning and a Festival of Food at the town’s Supervalu on Saturday afternoon.
For more information on Clancy Brothers Festival events log onto www.clancybrothersfestival.org to download the festival brochure or check out the Festival’s Facebook page.
Tickets for all events are on sale now from The Heritage Centre, Carrick-on-Suir, (051) 640200.