Bumper May Bank Holiday weekend lifts mood

Comment & Opinion

BACK WITH A BANG After two virtual Mayo Days, this year’s event took place on the Mall in Castlebar on Saturday, and concluded with an exciting fireworks display.  Pic: Conor McKeown

Whole host of events take place as Covid worries lessen

FOR the first time in well over two years, there was a real sense of normality resuming across the county over the weekend as a whole host of events attracted large crowds and created a post-pandemic feel good factor.
The weather was its usual unpredictable self but it failed to dampen the spirits of the public who seemed to revel in the fact that life is returning to normal and yearly events could take place without a hint of public health restrictions.
Covid-19 is still very much part of our lives but case numbers continue to fall and the number of hospitalisations was down to just 12 at Mayo University Hospital at one stage last week.
The first of the big events to take place over the weekend was Mayo Day, which was back in all its glory in Castlebar, after having taken place virtually over the last two years.
The flagship event this year took place on the Mall in Castlebar and showcased all that is best about the county, with music, food, sport and the arts all playing their part at various locations during the day.
Also on in Castlebar on Saturday was the annual Mayo Pink Ribbon fundraising event, which was taking place for the 13th time. All the money raised each year goes to the National Breast Cancer Research Institute at NUI Galway and the cycle has turned into a major recreational events for hundreds of Mayo people, many who took up cycling so they could take part in the event.
Over the road in west Mayo, Irish traditional music was the order of the day as Féile Chois Cuain took place in Louisburgh for the 27th time. Musicians and Irish music lovers from all over the country flock to Louisburgh every May Bank Holiday weekend to take part and their was a real buzz around the streets this year seen as the event had not taken place in 2020 at all, and was held virtually last year.
The people of Newport had spent years planning their 300th anniversary celebrations which were due to take place in 2020 but the pandemic put paid to their exciting plans for over two years.
However, once again there was a real sense of celebration on the streets of the town on Sunday as an extravagant historical re-enactment of the origins of Newport took place. A cast of over 70, young and old, took part in the pageantry before former Taoiseach Enda Kenny then launched the commemorative book ‘Newport 300 - The First 200 Years (1720-1920)’, an outstanding publication which runs to some 400 pages. The celebrations may have been put on hold for over two years but it truly turned out to be an occasion to really savour for everyone associated with Newport.
So, the summer has really had a spectacular start across Mayo and one can only expect events to keep coming and coming over the next three months. Covid-19 has had a devastating impact on the lives of so many people around the world but it at least it has thought us to enjoy life to the full when the opportunity presents itself.