Soapbox derby and festival ready to roll in Kilteely-Dromkeen

Donal O’Regan


Donal O’Regan

Vroom vroom! Kilteely National School pupils can't wait for the Kilteely-Dromkeen Festival to begin this Thursday, July 18 and especially watching the soapbox derby on Sunday. Picture: Mike Cowhey
WITH glorious weather forecast it is set to be a weekend to remember in the parish of Kilteely-Dromkeen.

WITH glorious weather forecast it is set to be a weekend to remember in the parish of Kilteely-Dromkeen.

Their fifth annual festival will attract big crowds from the county, and The Gathering element has attracted twenty from USA; Australia and many from England with roots in the area.

The parish was “buzzing” on Sunday after Limerick’s win said festival chairman, Tom Jones. Kilteely-Dromkeen GAA’s player Paudie Ahern - the panel’s only junior club player - made it extra special. And the place will be buzzing for five nights from this Thursday, July 18 with crossroad dancing at The Teach, Cloverfield from 8pm. Chairman of The Gathering committee, Ed O’Dea even contacted musicians and set dancers over the last 30 years to return.

“At the end of the night we will sit around the large open fireplace drink tea, play music, sing and tell stories till the wee hours of the morning,” said Ed.

The festival’s opening ceremony is on Friday night with a fancy dress parade through Kilteely village at 7pm led by John Moloney and his bag pipes. A magician, bingo, music in Hanley’s, go-kart mania and lots more ensure there is something for everyone. The go-karting is for teens who would love to drive in the soapbox derby said Tom.

On Saturday, there are soccer tournaments, Wii competition, skittles, rap band from Ballylanders and Elvis! all leading up to announcement of the mayoral campaign - Kieran Hanley, Geradine Barry, Breda O’Grady and John O’Dea. They have been busy raising money so organisers can put on the best festival possible free of charge. The Limerick Men also perform.

While The Gathering committee have organised an open top bus tour with contributions from local historians. On Sunday at 11.30am there will be a genealogy workshop in the school.

From 1.30pm, the field across from the church will be packed for the family fun day and farmers market. This is where money raised by the mayors, given by businesses and Ballyhoura really helps as it is all free. Tom says there will be a pet farm, bouncy castles, reptile zoo, dog show and lots more. Then attention will turn to the soapbox derby at 4pm with the handmade vehicles speeding through the village as gravity does its work. Music in Ahern’s ends Sunday but events continue into Monday with the skittles final and historical lecture by Tom Toomey on Tuesday. For full event details and times log onto Kilteely-Dromkeen Festival Facebook page.