SHANAGOLDEN will go en fete next week when its inaugural Summer Festival kicks off.
The festival is a joint venture between the Estuary Rugby Club, Shanagolden Community Council and Shanid Comhaltas and promises to keep young and old entertained with a lively line-up of sport, music, a Barn Dance and an open air market and vintage show.
But the organisers have had to do a bit of juggling to their programme since Limerick senior hurling team succeeded in booking their place in the All-Ireland semi-final on the same day as the Shanagolden Old Stand Challenge Cup tournament.
The club has been hosting its rugby tournament for the past three years, club secretary Joe Hoyne explained. But this year, with major developments planned for the community field and park where the rugby pitch is located, the club decided to expand the event into a fully-fledged festival in association with the two other organisations.
Unfortunately, he said, the date of August 18 had been picked before Limerick won its semi-final spot.
However, club treasurer Tom Flavin said, they have now rescheduled and the tournament will now begin at noon. “Throw-in for the Limerick versus Clare match is 3.30pm so we will have a big screen for people to catch the game. It promises to be a cracker,” Mr Flavin said.
The four clubs that are involved are Bruff, Young Munster, Shannon and Old Cresent, he continued and each game will be two 20-minute halves. explaining that the family fun day, with children’s entertainment will continue as planned.
The festival will kick off next Thursday, August 15, with a ceili mor in the Parish Hall where Shanid Comhaltas will provide the music.
The following day, children aged from 6 to 13 will be encouraged to discover their “inner cowboy or inner cowgirl” with a Kiddies’ Barn Dance. But, say the organisers, while fancy dress is optional, there will be prizes on offer for the best-dressed. This will run from 7pm and will also include lots of fun games and competitions.
Adults will have their chance at barn dancing on Saturday night, again with prizes for the best turned out cowboy and cowgirl. And Saturday will also see a country market and car boot sale taking place in the community field from 11am. A vintage car display will follow in the afternoon.
Earlier this year, Shanagolden unveiled plans for the Captain Tim Madigan Park, the 10-acre field at the heart of the village which has been home to a soccer and a rugby pitch for the past number of years. Now, thanks to a grant from West Limerick Resources and local contributions, the field is to be upgraded to include a walking trail around the perimeter.
Seating, new planting and landscaping are also part of the plan but crucially, there will be a new block of toilet, shower and changing facilities.
Work on the new block is expected to begin later this month.