The Family Fun Festival in Youghal
Youghal Family Festival Inaugural Event a Major Success!
Friday 16th – Sunday 18th July 2010
Youghal, Co. Cork celebrated its designation by Failte Ireland as a ‘centre of excellence’ in family fun with its inaugural Family Fun Festival over the weekend (16th -18th July) with an action packed festival programme of free family entertainment.
In excess of 5,000 visitors over the course of the weekend took part in a whole host of events which kicked off in style on Friday evening, 16th July 2010 with a ‘Mardi Gras’ parade setting the seaside town ablaze with colour. The official launch of the event was by this year’s Kerry Rose, Veronica Hunt – a Youghal native. Highlights of the parade included the contestants in the ‘Queen of the Sea’ competition as they cruised through the town in a range of vintage cars, led out by the nationally renowned ‘Youghal Pipe Band’. Music and dance were the order of the day as visitors and locals saw dance troupes and street performers take centre stage, but it was the ‘Graham McDermott School of Dancing’ which stole the show and claimed first prize in the parade; sponsored by T & M Fitzgerald.
“The festival exceeded all our wildest expectations”, said Sal Tivy, Festival Chairperson. “On reflection however, I believe the secret of our success was that all the fun events were free and the simple, old fashioned ideas will always be enjoyed by kids of any era,” commented Sal.
The response from the public was uplifting as families of all ages enjoyed the various activities all day Saturday and Sunday. The relaxed and friendly atmosphere was truly evident throughout the day in the Family Food Festival in the Market Square, with local traders reaping the economic benefits of the influx of visitors to the town.
Local trader, Judy Ansbro of ‘The Coffee Pot’ described the Food Festival as “the best food market ever to be held in Youghal”. Therese Donnelly of The Quality Hotel & Leisure Club, Youghal, also commended the festival organisers on the fact that over 90% of the events over the weekend were free. “Our customers were thrilled with the fact that so much of this festival was free; everyone is so budget conscious at the moment, and this festival sends out a great signal that Youghal is giving visitors what they want.”
The highlight of the entire weekend however was the crowning of Youghal’s very own ‘Queen of the Sea’; Susie Fitzgibbon - who represented Aherne’s Seafood Restaurant. Susie was presented with a cheque for €500, along with a perpetual trophy which was generously sponsored by local businesses; Claycastle Recording Studios and The Seahunter Charter Boat. Sal Tivy heaped praise on all of the 31 contestants commenting: “all the participants were absolutely magnificent. I am proud to say Youghal holds a record in beautiful women! They were stunning. This competition was not solely about looks, it was about mind, body and soul and each contestant displayed this and represented their sponsors with great pride. The really special surprise that came from this festival however, was the sponsor cards which each queen got for ISPCC Childline. The astonishing amount of €5,000 was raised by the Queens” said Sal.
Despite the inclement weather on Sunday, the Walter Raleigh Hotel very generously stepped in to provide the venue for ‘Sunday is Funday’. Hundreds of children were not to be disappointed as the ‘Fastest Daddy Competition’, ‘The Walter Raleigh Spud & Spoon Race’; ‘The Teddy Bear Hospital’ all took place on dry land!
The festival drew to a close with a ‘raft race’ in Youghal Bay. A team of fearless ‘water babies’ calling themselves the ‘Water Rats’ clinched first place in a closely fought event, sponsored by Aquatrek Sea Skills. At the closing ceremony of the event, Sal Tivy paid tribute to the hard-working committee who worked behind the scenes to make the event possible. “They were magnificent; a fantastic, hard working team of ladies and 3 gents. I would personally like to express my thanks and say it was these people who made it such a successful event for Youghal. I would like to say it was my privilege to have worked with them.”
The Youghal Family Fun Festival would like to thank its sponsors for their support in this inaugural event.
Date: Tue Jul 20 2010
Owner: John Hennessy
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