Music the attraction at city’s volunteer fair

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

MUSIC and the arts were celebrated at this year’s Community and Voluntary Fair, which took place in the Milk Market.

MUSIC and the arts were celebrated at this year’s Community and Voluntary Fair, which took place in the Milk Market.

The annual event, aimed at recognising and celebrating those who give to the community, drew more than 2,000 people to the spacious surrounds of the Milk Market.

Organised by the PAUL Partnership and the Community and Voluntary Forum, the event saw 40 stalls from community groups across the city.

The fair had a carnival flavour, with the highlight being a concert, where the CBS Pipe Band and the Boherbuoy Band played.

Since its inception in 2008, the annual volunteer fair had been held at City Hall.

Speaking to the Limerick Leader, Monica O’Brien-Smith of the Limerick Volunteer Centre said she believed the move to the market had paid off.

“It was lovely to be honest. The venue was excellent. What was very pleasing was that everyone was so involved in the entertainment. The Boherbuoy Band was fantastic, the atmosphere was brilliant - you would think you were at festival hall, they were that good! I don’t know who is training them, but my lord they were wonderful,” she said, also adding praise for the CBS Pipe Band.

In particular this year, she said the organisers of the volunteer fair were looking to highlight performance, and the performing arts “and the contribution they make to society and Limerick, as well as the volunteering opportunities there.”

While this year’s community and voluntary fair fell during the European Year of Volunteering, it was also slap bang in the middle of positive ageing week, which emphasises the good work older members of the community do.

Monica’s personal highlight was the dancing from the O’Rourke School of Irish Dancing in Limerick City.

“There were some lovely dancers there. And it was so nice to see Limerick groups doing well. We have had a lot of non-nationals in groups who look lovely and are brilliant. But we also have great talent in Limerick ourselves,” she beamed.

Cooking demonstrations took place as part of the event, while there was free tea and cakes.