Limerick’s first Festival of Kindness is a big hit

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Enjoying some of the treats on offer were Mary Kennedy from the Father Russell Road and Sinead Kennedy from Grove Island, who also had their faces painted. Picture: Gareth Williams
BEDFORD Row was buzzing with generosity over the weekend as hundreds attended a fun day held as part of a unique festival.

BEDFORD Row was buzzing with generosity over the weekend as hundreds attended a fun day held as part of a unique festival.

The inaugural Festival of Kindness, organised by Pay it Forward Limerick – a group of business people whose aim is to spread goodwill – saw free massages, shoe shining, blood pressure checks, dancing, and music to grateful visitors to the city.

The pedestrianised street was adorned with blue and white balloons, while Richard Harris held aloft a Festival of Kindness flag as the fun kicked off on Saturday lunchtime.

Joy was etched on the faces of children and adults alike, as cheeks were painted with shamrocks, and animals were petted at the free event.

Denise Curtin, Lynwood Park, said: “It is a fantastic day. I have just arrived in with my daughter Tess, and she is getting her face painted. There is a really great atmosphere today. Everyone is in great form, and smiling.”

Donna Rae came back to Limerick from her native Arizona to take part in the festival having fallen in love with the city two years earlier.

She was put in charge of the wheel of fortune.

Explaining it, she said: “The children spin the wheel and have a choice of giving a hug, paying a compliment to someone, letting someone in the line in front of someone, or holding a door for someone. Then they get a treat. The kids love it. In a small way, they are learning about paying it forward.”

Around 25 medical students from the University of Limerick measured people’s blood pressure, Macra Na Feirme provided cakes and snacks, and hairdresser Niall Colgan provided free styling.

Scouts from St Paul’s and Clarina were on hand to shine people’s shoes.

James Lowe, 10, from Dooradoyle said: “I like the way we have been able to meet so many new people. Some people are trying to give us money, and they want to know all about our community.”