by Majella Loftus
Voluntary committees in Claremorris and Ballinrobe are continuing to prepare for annual festivities in July.
Members of the Ballinrobe Festival Committee are currently meeting virtually to discuss their preparations for this year’s event which is scheduled for the week of July 21 to July 26.
Committee chairperson Monica Horan told the Western People: “We are still putting our plans in place and are keeping our fingers crossed that we will be able to host the concerts and events that we have been planning over the past number of months. We have a great committee who have great ideas and we are really hopeful that everything in relation to the coronavirus will be resolved by then.”
She added: “We just think if we can keep everything booked and in place, it would be a brilliant way to celebrate after all of our social isolation. It would be fantastic to be able to bring our community and those from further afield together for a big celebration!”
International music acts, Mundy and The Blizzards, are due to headline this year’s festival and the committee is also keeping a surprise support act under wraps. It is also hoped the festival Race Day Dance will also make a return bringing with it one of Irish Country music’s biggest stars, Robert Mizzell.
The festival is also scheduled to host numerous family-friendly activities and events including the hugely-popular Cinema Day and the Queen of the Lakes competition.
Meanwhile, in neighbouring Claremorris, plans are continuing for the second annual folk Festival, due to take place from July 17 to 19.
In a statement, organisers said: “As the festival is over three months away, we are continuing to prepare for the three-day event to take place so that we can run it as planned. We are, of course, keeping a daily watching brief on the situation and taking all appropriate official advice and guidance relating to the event.”
The Hothouse Flowers are scheduled to take to the stage on Friday, July 17, followed by Lisa O’Neill as well as Kieran Goss and Annie Kinsella on Saturday, July 18. On Sunday, MOXIE, Lisa Canny and Maria Kelly will all play on the main stage. Various other artists and bands are booked to play across numerous venues in the town for the duration of the festival.
The two festivals are a huge part of the tourism offering in South Mayo over the summer months and there will be great disappointment if they are cancelled due to the coronavirus crisis.