A VERITABLE feast of food and fun is promised in Kilmallock this weekend with everything from sausages filled with bacon and cabbage to mice racing, a spectacular fashion show and a haunted house experience all forming part of the Taste of Ballyhoura Festival.
Taking place from Friday, October 23 until Monday, October 26, the festival kicks off on Friday with a banquet at Deebert House Hotel consisting of a five-course meal and a range of produce from local companies, followed by live musical entertainment.
Saturday will see the return of the hugely popular Haunted House in the Old Post Office building on Lord Edward Street from 7pm.
The two big events on Saturday night are the Taste of Ballyhoura fashion show at Bulgaden Castle from 8pm and mice racing in Fitzgerald’s Bar from 10pm.
While the live mice racing will take place in Fitzgerald’s Bar, the action will also be aired in Howard’s Bar and The 41 Bar, via Skype.
“There is a box with tracks in it - there will be a mouse in each track and they race across the track,” explained James O’Doherty of the organising committee.
“There will be a bookies in each bar. You also get the chance to buy one of the mice in each race as well and name it. There will be prize money for each winner of each race.”
In Bulgaden Castle meanwhile, the spotlight will be on some local celebrities who will be sashaying down the catwalk during the fashion show.
“I’m delighted to be involved in the show. It will be a great night’s entertainment - a treat for the ladies and we will have fashion for the gentlemen as well. It is a big weekend,” commented model agent Hilary Thompson, who will host the fashion show.
A number of Kilmallock hurlers who are on the Limerick senior hurling panel including Paudie O’Brien, Gavin O’Mahony, Graeme Mulcahy and Barry Hennessy are to strut their stuff along with other local personalities.
“We will have fashions from size 10 up to size 18 so we have something for everybody. The fashions for autumn/winter this year are unbelievable because they are really bright. We have a range of fashions to suit everybody. People will get a good idea of what to get for the winter ahead,” Hilary added.
Murrays of Charleville will sponsor the Best Dressed prize on the night.
Activities on Sunday are based around family. A marquee will be set up outside SuperValu on Sarsfield Street where there will be entertainment for children. There will also be a busking competition around the town along with food trails, and an historic tour with visits to the various local landmarks.
On Sunday evening, the Haunted House will again be open for children. There will be a Beat on the Street disco in the marquee on Sunday evening. The evening will draw to a close with a fireworks display in the hurling field.
On Monday there will be a food market from 9am on Sarsfield Street and Emmet Street.
The marquee will host the semi-finals and final of the school’s cookery competition.
Chef Brian McDermott will do a demo in the marquee. The busking competition will continue on Monday and there will be entertainment around the street.
“There will also be amusement in the GAA grounds over the weekend. We are hoping to have between 40 and 50 stalls at the food market - stalls which have never been seen before in Kilmallock,” James explained.
“There will be lots of unusual stalls - there are 30 different types of sausages coming from Cavan including sausages with bacon and cabbage, sausages with white chocolate and dark chocolate. Another stall will have kangaroo meat skewers, and a chocolate fountain.”
There will also be one act dramas taking place at Friars’ Gate Theatre over the weekend. The festival will be featured on Irish TV Channel on Sky 191.