Shannon Festival gets underway

Shannon Festival gets underway

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A number of community groups have joined forces to promote and help deliver the Shannon Festival beginning today and running until Sunday.

The programme of events is complete and it’s looking like an exciting weekend full of music, arts, entertainment, and fun for all the family, showing what can happen regularly once The Shannon Venue is delivered.

The Shannon Festival Committee would like to acknowledge the support of local traders and companies who are making donations or offering goods and services. They would also like to thank the community who gave generously at the flag day held in the town centre earlier in the year.  All of whom have helped to make this festival possible and free to all who attend.

Local artist Sinéad Scullion and the Junk Monkeys are working away on some art pieces, as is Karen Barrett who is making flags and some backdrops, all helping to make the weekend colourful and interesting. Christy and his fantastic colleagues from the Men’s Shed have been assisting us in the preparations, and a great team of volunteers is being assembled to help everything run smoothly.

Friday the 8th will start with a lunchtime gathering where people can come to Skycourt, get a bite to eat in the festival tent and listen to some live music from local talent.  Hells BBQ, Boxty’s Irish Street Food, Mo Crawleys Crepes, Shannon Ices and Jaynes Churros will all be in the food hub beside the festival tent. This will be then followed by Children’s Yoga at 3pm with Tricia McDonnell (confirmed after schedule went to print),  Adult Yoga with Julie Hyde at 4pm and then Drum Dance Ireland will take over with a workshop for all ages.

Eclipse stage school will perform a short showcase before the Festival official opening at 7:15pm. Minister of State, Pat Breen is scheduled to open the Festival. The evening entertainment will then kick off with the Royal Bhangra Dance Group followed by local singer songwriter Adam Moloney (celebrating his 15th Birthday on the night). Big Generator will close out the night pumping out all the hits.

Saturdays activities will commence with a Market from 10:00am-3:30pm and this will be followed by a variety of children’s entertainment hosted by HT Promotions. There will also be a Basketball Demonstration, Maloney’s Berg GoCarts, Wild Encounters and lots more. Music for the evening will be provided by three groups with a strong Shannon connection, Three Screws Loose, Protobaby and One September, who will be celebrating their 30th anniversary on the night.  Young September (the next generation) will sing a few tunes also.

Sunday will start with the 10 o’clock Folkgroup Mass moving from Sts John & Paul Church to the Festival Tent. This will be followed by a Christian Church Service. There will be a chance to view vintage cars and scooters and drink some coffee from 11am-1pm.  Mark DeLisser, a world renowned choir director, arranger and vocal coach will host a community choir singing workshop at 12 noon.  Some family fun will be hosted by James Sexton of HIYA. There will also be a Shannon Musical Society dance workshop at 2:30pm and 4pm and an SMS drama workshop at 3pm, all in the festival tent. The Sixmilebridge Folk Club & local friends will play a session and we are hoping to have some set dancers on hand to encourage others to join in.  The Festival will draw to a close with Mundy, Paddy Casey & friends.

There will also be a number of activities happening around Skycourt itself over the weekend.  Buskers, street entertainers, puppet shows, art classes, photography workshop, writing workshops with Rachael English and Madge O’Callaghan, drop-in-drama, demonstrations by the Fire Service, the Army, Road Safety Authority mobile unit, Chemifloc science demo and much more. For more information and the official running order check out shannonfestival.com or the Shannon Festival Facebook page.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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