Next week – which culminates in the August Bank Holiday weekend – promises to be an eventful one in Castlerea, as the Castlerea Rose Festival takes place from Wednesday August 1st to Sunday August 5th.
Castlerea has been hosting its festival now for nearly a quarter of a century, the event having evolved from the Mardi Gras to the fun-filled five-day programme of events which is run now.
The festival has been completely overhauled this year to include many new and novel ideas, including – dodge ball and a wife-carrying competition!
There will be fun and entertainment for all the family with amusements, fire-eating displays and puppet shows as well as a fireworks display during the opening parade.
The Castlerea Rose Festival begins with a bang this year, with the return of its renowned grand opening parade, taking place on Wednesday, August 1st at 8 pm.
This wonderful opening parade, which attracts a vast number of visitors to the town, truly is a mammoth undertaking and can rival the likes of Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade. The Parade will incorporate the Official Launch of the Roscommon International Reunion and the official opening will be by Cllr. Tom Crosby, Mayor of Roscommon. There will be free music on the street with local band ‘La Bamba.’
There will be local participation on a significant level with local societies showcasing their involvement in the community by displaying fun floats. Of course the ever-popular local Castlerea Brass band will inevitably be there, along with numerous marching bands. There will also be pupils from the local and surrounding schools and the involvement of our national army and the local FCA, amongst other participants.
The parade itself takes months of organising and committee members Paschal Fitzmaurice, Christy Glynn, John Mulligan and Liam Scahill in particular, are to be commended for all they have done over recent years in making the parade the huge attraction it has become.
The committee have of course included all the ‘old reliables’ including the annual kiddies’ disco, family day, a car treasure hunt, a window treasure hunt, a teddy bear’s picnic, an art competition and much, much more!
This year the committee are also delighted to host ‘Castlerea’s X Factor!’ which is being run in conjunction with local publicans who are hosting a number of heats in the run-up to the festival, with the final taking place over the festival weekend. The winner takes home a fantastic prize of €1000!
Here is just a sneak preview of some of the events that the Castlerea Rose Festival committee have been working on to make the 2012 Festival one of the best in memory.
Following Wednesday night’s opening parade (8 pm) we move on to Thursday, August 2nd. Traditionally the festival takes over the Patrick Street area of the town, kicking of with lots of entertainment on Thursday August 2nd, where there will be great street entertainment, amusements, BBQs and live band. Once again, the committee are proud to be using mostly local bands this year. You’ll see performances from our own La Bamba, Laura Kearney, Dave and Blue Tax and we also have Mr Honda 50 himself, Seamus Moore!
There will also be the familiar yearly ‘stand alone’ novelty ideas such as pig racing – while 2012 will see Castlerea getting its didis out! Hosted for the first time in Ireland, it’s a novel didi car racing night. We will transform Patrick St. into a grand prix track for this novel race idea.
On Friday, August 3rd the Rose of Castlerea Selection Night will be taking place, to crown the Rose of Castlerea for 2012. The festival hosts their annual Rose Ball and a Rose of Castlerea is selected from a host of local girls who enter the competition every year. This is always an unenviable task as the amount of emerging talent from the local girls increases every year. There will also be an 80’s disco night following the success of the ‘Relive the Don’ night earlier this year.
Saturday, August 4th is the family-filled event day which will feature art competitions, children’s window treasure hunts and football games throughout the day. There will be dodgeball competitions, wife carrying competitions, free puppet and a fire-eating shows for the party fun night. There’s also a swimming gala and a children’s disco in the evening, and also a live ‘beat on the street’ and a yearly novelty event. There will also be free music with Seamus Moore as well as an 80’s Disco takes place in the Stagger Inn that night. Admission is €10 with fancy dress is optional.
Sunday, August 5th is Festival Family Fun Day featuring novel games and sports to bring all the family out. The Family Fun Day runs from 2 pm to 5 pm and events include: memory lane tea dance in the Hub, Penalty shoot-out, face-painting, kayaking, welly throwing, novelty races, amusements, etc. There’ll be a car treasure hunt, and the Grand Finale of Castlerea’s X Factor (at 9 pm) in the River Island Nightclub. Also music in a number of local bars.
During the festival the committee run golf competitions, the local bars put on live entertainment and there are art exhibitions and much, much more. So for the August Bank Holiday weekend, put the Rose Festival in your diary –because Castlerea is the place to be!
Issue dated: 27 JULY 2012
© Roscommon People