FIRST there was ‘Westfest’. Now there is ‘Westival’.
Next month, the grounds of Hyde Rangers in Ballinacurra Weston will play host to a community fun day, which will include face painting, a barbecue, and uniquely a charity soccer match between a southside select 11, and members of An Garda Síochána.
The brainchild of the youngest Irish person ever to climb Mount Everest Mark Quinn, and regeneration assistant director Kieran Ryan, it is hoped the festival - to be held on Saturday, September 24 - will bring the community together.
Mark said he began to start thinking about organising another big event as soon as he arrived back in Limerick following his record breaking climb up Everest.
He was approached by Kieran Ryan and Leanne Purcell of the Ballinacurra Weston community centre, he added.
The day will be varied, with community groups and bands from across Limerick performing on a specially erected stage.
“There will be a number of community groups performing throughout the day, but significantly, we are getting bands from the community, and a couple of other groups. The main stand will be running with bands throughout the day, and we will probably have a couple of DJs later on,” Mark told the Limerick Leader.
The event, which will be officially launched this morning, will run from 2pm until around 9pm at Hyde Rangers’ ground.
Mark added that there will be Street Games taking place for youngsters attending, with the Shane Geoghegan Trust set to benefit - the final event of its kind.
Kieran Ryan praised Mark for his involvement with the community festival, saying: “He is aware of communities, and wants to help children.”
Prior to his Everest success, Mark played a central role in running the Great Friday festival for a number of years and so was able to draw on his contacts to put together ‘Westfest’ so quickly.
And while Great Friday didn’t happen this year, because Mark was in training for his trek up Mount Everest, he promised next year’s event close to Easter “will be bigger and better than ever.”
‘Westfest’ will be sponsored by Karl O’Kelly demolition. Popular local band Acoustra are the first band to be confirmed for ‘Westival’.