'Flower Power' taking part in the Fethard Fancy Dress Parade
The ducks floated, dogs barked and the weather was at its best for the thousands attending this year’s Fethard Festival on Sunday last, June 18.
From early morning the town park was buzzing with activity as various colourful structures started to inflate and herald the forthcoming family fun available to all between the town’s medieval town wall and Clashawley river.
This year the Fethard Business & Tourism Group and Fethard & Killusty Community Council joined forces to make this year's Fethard Festival bigger and better by promoting the ever-popular Traditional Fancy Dress parade and lots of other family favourites by the town park in the Valley.
Aisling Slevin-Woodlock, Ellie Anne Woodlock and Ollie Woodlock
This is the fifth Fethard Festival where, due to the generosity of the Magnier family at Coolmore, the family fun day offers free entertainment throughout the day with additional vouchers for free burgers and ice cream to all the local primary schools in the vicinity of Fethard & Killusty parish. This is a tremendous boast to the crowds attending the festival and a great relief to the deep pockets of parents and carers who usually bring children along to similar events. The organising committee and Fethard parish express their sincere thanks to the Magnier family for their continued support to local community events and projects.
The Family Fun Day kicked off in the GAA Field with the annual juvenile football tournament for the Danaher Cup involving various young players from surrounding parishes who play their heart out for the honour of winning the cup from reigning champions Fethard U8 team. The winners of the Danaher Cup this year were the Mullinahone team who beat Kilsheelan by 4-04 to 1-01 in the final and the Plate final was won by Clonmel Commercials who beat Fethard on a scoreline of 3-02 to 1-00.
Fancy Dress Parade
'Brazilian Carnival Comes to Fethard' part of the entry that took part in the Fethard Festival Fancy Dress Parade: Emily Clancy, Keyla Caroll and Erin Carroll.
At 2pm, commencing from the ballroom cross, Banna Cluain Meala made a huge impact when they started to play and lead the Fancy Dress Parade up Main Street to the applause of spectators on both sides of the street. We had a dramatic increase in entries in this year’s parade and it was great to see so many family organised entries from parents who already taken part in traditional parades when they were young. It was also very welcome to see so many new entries taking to the streets and adding to the colourful display of family fun and sunshine.
The judges, Cecily Purcell and Georgina Conroy, had a hard task that took considerable time to decide on the eventual winners as follows. Best Float: 1st ‘The Village Blacksmith’, 2nd ‘Mrs Brown visits Fethard’s Chamber of Horrors’. Best Group: 1st ‘The Cowboy and Indians’, Runners-Up Prizes to, ‘Flower Power’, ‘Fethard goes Emoji’, ‘Minions’ and ‘Heidi from The Alps’.
The Individual Winner was ‘Edward Scissor Hands’ (Patrick Coffey). Individual Runners-Up Prizes were presented to: ‘Ronaldo’ (Adam O’Donnell), ‘All-Star Waterford Hurler’ (Rowan Fewer), Transformer (Stevie Sheehan), ‘Pirate’ (Jamie Sheehan), Iron Man’ (Cian Feery), ‘Summer Farmer’ (Mikey Brennan), ‘Ghost’ (J.J. Brennan), Indians (Jona and Juliana Power), ‘Executioner’ (Bobby), Slave (J.J.), ‘Fethard’s First Astronaut’ (Miceál Séan McCormack), ‘Cleopatra’ (Anastasia Daly) and ‘Supergirl (Rose Reddy).
Fancy Dress Parade organisers and judges Lucy Whyte, Tina Whyte, Cecily Purcell and Georgina Conroy
Following a fantastic display from Banna Cluain Meala’s musicians and majorettes by the town wall, the equally talented Clonmel based blus band, Mojo'd, entertained the large attendance from 3pm to 5.30pm. Fethard Rugby Club manned their barbecue and food stall supplying tables and chairs for those who relaxed by the various stalls or by the riverside on the grass.
Over 500 ducks took to the water for Bill O’Sullivan’s annual Duck Race in aid of the local Secondary School and the winners were: 1st Prize €50 David Curran, Moyglass; 2nd €30, Mike Dalton, Pharmacy; and 3rd €20 Burke Bridge Bar, Fethard.
Other popular attractions on the day included the Dog Show organised by Pat Culligan and Catherine Kearney; ‘Mikes Pet World’ introducing children to a variety of exotic pats; the traditional ‘Wheel of Fortune’ stall run by a dedicated team of supporters in aid of the local Critical Illness to help defray some of the costs associated with serious illness. We also welcomed Tipperary hurling stars John ‘Bubbles’ O’Dwyer and Kieran Bergin who manned their stall ‘Bubbles Hurleys’ where they stocked and promoted everything good about hurling in the county.
The general consensus from locals and visitors alike was that this year’s Fethard Festival was one of the ‘Best Ever’ to date and with promises of even better days to come!