Tipperary village hosts Miss Macra festival

Once again Clonoulty Rossmore Macra na Feirme are very excited to announce details of this year’s Miss Macra Festival, which will take place over the August Bank holiday weekend from Thursday the 2nd of August to Monday 6th of August.

Once again Clonoulty Rossmore Macra na Feirme are very excited to announce details of this year’s Miss Macra Festival, which will take place over the August Bank holiday weekend from Thursday the 2nd of August to Monday 6th of August.

This year marks the beginning of a new decade for this prestigious event as Clonoulty Rossmore Macra embark on the 41st International Miss Macra festival. After the very successful 40th anniversary of this prominent festival, this year sees a new revamp with many firsts. Once again this year’s festival will see girls travelling from all over the country and beyond to Tipperary to compete for the honour of being crowned International Miss Macra 2012, succeeding the very admired, 2011 winner Sarah-Louise Healy from the Musketry region of Cork.

The luxurious Dundrum House Hotel, winner of the certificate of excellence 2012, has once again been chosen as the prominent venue for this year’s festival. Dundrum House Hotel has been described as an oasis in the Golden Vale, setting the perfect scene for those who are seeking relaxation and fun.

The committee would like to send an enormous ‘Thank You’ to all their sponsors, host families and local businesses who continue year after year to be generous supporters of the festival. In particular our first prize sponsor Dundrum House Hotel, second prize FBD Insurance Ltd and third prize Tipperary Co-Op aswell as our long standing supporters Michael’s Jewellers and Gleeson Concrete.

This year’s festival kicks off on Thursday the 2nd of August when this year’s contestants will arrive into the heart of Clonoulty village. The community will host a welcoming session, where a selection of Tipperary food will give them a taste of Tipperary. A night of traditional dance and music will follow in Clonoulty community hall. Also here the contestants will be introduced to their host families, who will adopt them into the heart of their homes for the duration of the festival and thus provide a warm welcome to the contestants. The host families are a very important part of this community based festival and the committee are as always very grateful of their support, generosity and loyalty year after year.

Friday is a very eventful day for the contestants as there is an emphasis on trying something new. So ‘First Time Friday’ starts with a tour of the world famous Coolmore stud, which boasts some of the best sires in the world. For any of the contestants who have an interest in horses this is a dream come true to see this impressive renowned stud farm. Lunch then will be served in the Lady Clementine restaurant in Dundrum House Hotel. This will be a chance for the girls to relax before their surprise activity, which will take place in the afternoon. Afterwards it’s time for the girls to get ready to glow, as Friday night sees a first for the festival with a glow in the dark disco, which will take place in the Venue in Dundrum with a DJ provided by Goldstar Entertainments.

Saturday morning heralds an intense day for the contestants, as they must rise early and prepare for their interviews with the judges. There are three judges who are giving the difficult task of selecting one girl from this year’s twenty two contestants, to be crowned as Miss Macra 2012. This year’s trustworthy judges are Joan Pollard Carew, of Michael’s Jewellers in Thurles, published poet, long term patriot to the festival and well known in art and Irish dancing circles. Catriona Murphy who is a writer for the Farming Independent and the man blessed among the women Eamon Coleman who once himself served as a festival chair and has been involved with the festival for many years. In the afternoon, the contestants will be treated to a rally taster day, which will be presented by the Waterford Rally Committee. The Macra Rally is a very important event in the Macra calendar; it is the National Conference of Macra na Feirme which also incorporates the Young Farmers Conference as well as the national finals of a number of competitions. Then once again as the evening draws, its back to Dundrum House Hotel, where the girls will be interviewed on stage by Mike Egan and where they also get a chance to display come of their talents. This year the interviews will take place in the festival marquee with live music from the band No Recession and DJ in the Venue. Once the interviews are finished in the Marquee the contestants and their supporters can dance the night away in the Venue.

Sunday Morning starts with the contestants attending mass celebrated by Rev Fr.Egan in Clonoulty Parish Church. The choir serenading this ceremony is comprised of members of Clonoulty Rossmore Macra and members of the local community. Straight after mass, the contestants take part in a ‘Blast from the Past Sports Day’, in the Clonoulty G.A.A grounds, it is a mixture between a Macra Field Day and School Sports Day. Here the contestants will have to show their worth by participating in many country inspired activities including milking cows and parallel parking with a (toy) tractor and much, much more. All this will be followed by a barbecue, weather permitting.

Sunday night is the high light of the festival as it draws to a close at the International Miss Macra Gala Banquet, in Dundrum House Hotel. To begin with all the contestants plus their escorts are photographed by the renowned local photographer George Willoughby, before the champagne reception. Next a delicious five course meal is served followed by dancing and live music. This year the music will be provided by the band Arkadia until midnight. At this enchanted hour, silence will descend on the ballroom as anticipation reaches climax point as the winner of this year’s International Miss Macra festival 2012 will be crowned.

Once again this year’s festival has been planned exceptionally well and it promises to be yet another action packed success and one which will linger long in the memories of all who take part and attend.

If you require any further information about the weekend or if you have any queries don’t hesitate to call any of the festival committee, in particular Ann Marie Wade, Festival Chairperson, Tel: 086 1900822; Ann Marie Lyng, Festival Secretary, Tel: 087 1339602 or Louise Shanahan, Festival Secretary, Tel: 086 1994517 or you can find all the latest info on the club website www.clonoultyrossmoremacra.com or why not find them on facebook.