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It’s festival time in Newport

Going Out

FESTIVAL ROYALTY Shauna Moran, Newport, Gráinne Uaile Festival Queen 2019.

Debbie Chambers

NEWPORT Gráinne Uaile Festival begins this Friday, August 2, and finishes on Bank Holiday Monday, August 5. The festival is packed with free events and three evenings of live music for all the family to enjoy. It is open to parishioners and visitors alike, so, whether you live in the area or are just visiting, check out the festival flyer and head into town to enjoy the craic and music.
Hotel Newport launches the festival with an art exhibition which opens at 7pm on Friday, August 2. The theme of the exhibition is ‘The Place’, and it features a mixture of professional and amateur artists. The exhibition will remain open for the weekend.
The fun kicks off in earnest on Friday at 8.30pm with the arrival, by sea, of Shauna Moran, the newly elected, 2019 Festival Queen, aboard Clewbay Charters, White Water II. Once on land, she will be escorted from Medlicott Street to Main Street by a parade of local organisations, headed by the Tonragee Pipe Band, for the raising of the festival flag which marks the official opening.
All children are invited to join the parade on their bikes, trikes or scooters (non-motorised of course). After the opening speeches, there will be entertainment on Main Street by local musicians Grace Kelly, Hip-hop Artist Uppbeat, Siar and 3’s Country.
Saturday is a feast of entertainment for the young people starting at 11am in Burrishoole GAA grounds with the GAA U13 mixed Football Blitz. Between 1pm and 3pm there is a Children’s Disco in Hotel Newport with Kenny K followed by Teenage Bubble Soccer at 3pm at the Greenway Astro Park; and between 3.30pm and 4.30pm there are children’s sports events at the GAA grounds. So, whatever the age of your children there is sure to be something that appeals.
On Saturday evening from 8.30pm Main Street will be closed to traffic in preparation for outdoor Bingo and this year’s new attraction the Wonky Donkey Derby. It promises to be a lot of fun to both watch and to participate in so make sure you don’t miss all the action. At 9.30pm the second night of the live music festival features Irish band Hurricane Highway who have an American country rock sound which is sure to get everyone’s feet tapping well into the night.
Sunday, from 12.30pm onwards, is the best day for families to enjoy the craic together until late into the night with various family fun day events on Medlicott Street and children’s entertainment between 1pm and 5pm. Caroline O’Malley and her school of dance will give a display at 1pm and there will be a best dressed lady competition, a BBQ, face painting and music by Dazzle Disco. At 3pm in Hotel Newport an Art Event takes place with an Acrylic Pour demonstration by Maureen O’Neill.
The evening entertainment will be provided by the third music festival attraction, Declan Nerney and his band, from 9.30pm; Declan is well known for his showband style of country music.
Monday daytime is clear of events in Newport Town to allow everyone to attend the Pattern Cemetery Mass in the grounds of Burrishoole Abbey at 12 noon and the Pattern Games at 2pm.
The festival comes to a close on Monday evening with social dancing in Hotel Newport to music by Peter Mylett at 9.30pm. The free evening will feature a Glamorous Granny competition and the Festival Draw will take place revealing who the lucky winners are. Tickets for the draw will be on sale throughout the festival so please support the festival by purchasing some, you never know you might just win one of the fabulous prizes on offer.