The ‘Dear Old Elphin’ Festival 2015 will take place on 31st July, 1st, 2nd and 3rd August 2015 in the town of Elphin, Co. Roscommon. This is the third year of this very popular festival.
The festival was established in 2013 in the year of The Gathering and the organising committee were persuaded to continue the Festival and make it a yearly event.
This year the festival will start on Friday 31st July with a Crossroads Dance near the Cathedral Green. Patrons will be transported back to the days of the 1940s when Elphin and surrounding area was a mecca for Dance Halls, Carnivals and crossroads dancing.As well as ceili dancing there will have waltzing and foxtrots.
Writer Sean Shanagher will also launch his book ‘Dancing in Elphin in the 1940s’ during the Crossroads Dance and copies will be on sale. Refreshments will be served.
On Saturday 1st August the main street will be closed to traffic. Stalls selling the best of local produce will be set up and we will be showcasing the traditional crafts of bygone days such as shoemaking, spinning, weaving, wood cutting, threshing, thatching, haymaking, tinsmith, blacksmith.
The traditional tasks of the woman of the house will also be displayed such as washing, ironing, knitting, butter making, baking – all done without electricity of course!
There will be a hooley in the kitchen at around 3 pm with all welcome to come along for a tune and a song and a seat around the fireside. There is a whisper of a shebeen, but that’s only a rumour!
Young visitors to the festival will have a chance to see how a cow is milked and get up close to different farm animals. There will be plenty of entertainment for the younger folk too with the Big Blue Bus and ‘Titanic’ and the very popular barrel train.
The late Pat Kenny is fondly remembered by everyone who knew him and this year the Pat Kenny Poetry Competition will once again take place at the ‘Dear Old Elphin’ Festival on Sunday 2nd August in The Tower Bar, Elphin.
The theme for this year’s poetry competition is ‘Dancing Days’. The prize is the Pat Kenny Memorial Trophy and €50. The Pat Kenny short story competition has a prize of €100 and the theme is ‘Dance Hall Memories’.
There is also a junior poetry competition for a poem on any subject. The closing date for entries to the competitions is 24th July 2015. Entries to Anne Beirne, Tullyloyd, Elphin.
Other events over the weekend will include a Junior ‘Junk Kouture’ fashion parade for budding young designers and an art competition. The theme for the adult art competition 2015 will be ‘a painting/drawing of a gathering’.
The children’s art competition theme is a collage, painting or drawing entitled ‘Summertime’. Prize will be €50 for adult competition and €20, €15, €10 for children’s competition. Entries to be with Anne Beirne, Tullyloyd, Elphin, by 24th July.
The festival will finish with an exciting car treasure hunt on Sunday with all proceeds from entries going to the prizes.
Check out our Facebook page on www.facebook.com/dearoldelphin2015/ and mark your diaries for 31st July to 3rd August and join us in Elphin, where there will be a warm welcome for all.