What was your favourite part of the festival?
Was it the fast and furious National Churn Racing competition that took place on the main street on Saturday evening or was it the crowing of the Pride of Tipperary on the Co-Op main stage afterwards? Or did the ‘Good Ole Day’s concert bring joy to your heart or was the best bit dressing up in your vintage finery?
There was so much on and so much to do for ten-day festival that it was a joy to be in Tipperary and bring the family to so many free events and entertainment.
The Pride of Tipperary festival ran alongside the It’s a Long Way to Tipperary festival which helped pack a full programme including days out at the races, quiz nights and the gala dinner where the Prides were interviewed and performed their talents. The crowning of the Pride took place on Saturday night where hundreds of people filled the SuperValue car park to watch the final interviews of each Pride contestant. Kelly McDonagh from The Voice sang and entertained the crowd before Donna Breen was crowned Pride of Tipperary 2013.
From the History of Butter Making to the Animals & Agri-culture day, the Food & Craft fair to the National churn racing; the rich culture, history and produce of Tipperary was on display for all the visitors to savour and enjoy. The Tipperary Co-Op, the main sponsors whose industry has been the heart of the Tipperary rural agricultural community for over one hundred years, put in a huge effort towards the organising of events.
“Tipperary and its butter-making is the forerunners of the Co-Op system and the festival was focused around what is actually unique and genuine to Tipperary which is rural agricultural community with a farming background and dairy producers,” said Chairperson of the festival, Elaine Fitzpatrick.
The “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary’ festival cumulated in the ‘Meet Your Grandparents’ Gathering Event on Sunday and there was a brilliant atmosphere as people paraded in vintage dress, danced to the visiting brass bands, inspected the beautiful vintage cars parked on the main street and just enjoyed all the viewing spectacles that were on offer. A highlight of this event was the street theatre of a 1913 wedding that added to the vintage theme and also an Irish dancing display from the Bridget Wheelan School of Irish Dancing. Shane Ryan, Lattin, Co Tipperary was the 2013 churn race winner of the National Churn Racing event that took place on the Main Street Tipperary town on Saturday July 13 and Patrick Ryan, Bansha, was the runner-up. Many teams took place and sports celebrity Alan Quinlan was on hand to present medals and trophies. This was a really exhilarating spectacle and a real crowd pleaser.Another highlight of the festival was the vintage car parade that brought the Pride contestants from Tipperary Racecourse to the town. There was a great array of vintage vehicles and crowds thronged the sidewalks to watch the show.
Ted O’Connor, General Manager Tipperary Co-Op was delighted with the success of this year’s festival. “We were concerned about repeating the success of last year’s festival but once it started we realised it was going to surpass our expectations. This year we had the National Churn racing over two nights involving the clubs and between the great weather and the really good athletes it was a great success. I’d like to acknowledge the excellent organisation of the festival and all the voluntary people involved including the stewards who made entry into the events run smoothly and efficiently. The Tipperary Co-Op are delighted to support the It’s A Long Way to Tipperary Festival.”
The weather was perfect for the entire festival.
Only in its second year, the visitors to the “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary” festival easily tripled its visitors numbers from last year and many tourists were seen in and around the town. Congratulations to all the organisers, clubs and organisations who took part in a very successful festival.