THE countdown is on to a festival which will unite the southside.
On Saturday, September 24, at midday, Mayor Jim Long will cut the ribbon at the inaugural ‘Westival’ which will take place in the grounds of Hyde Rangers.
The brainchild of the youngest Irishman ever to climb Mount Everest, Mark Quinn it is hoped the event will bring large parts of the community together.
Speaking to the Limerick Leader, co-organiser Kieran Ryan, assistant director with Limerick Regeneration, said that the event will include a barbecue held by the residents’ forum and committee from the Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Elsewhere, Munster Rugby development officers will join FAI development officers to run sports camps, while other activities for kids will include face painting.
As for soccer, Hyde Rangers are to organise a mini tournament.
A special stage will be erected, and bands from across Limerick will play, including popular local band Acoustra.
The event is a joint initiative with Mark Quinn and Cathy O’Flaherty, and it is being co-ordinated with backup from Leanne Purcell of the Ballinacurra Weston Community Centre.
Kieran admits the first ever ‘Westival’ is turning into a much bigger event than they had planned.
Prior to his record breaking climb up Mount Everest, Mark played a central role in running the Great Friday for a number of years, and so was able to draw on his contacts to put together ‘Westival’ at short notice.
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 “will be bigger and better than ever”.
‘Westival’ will be sponsored by O’Kelly Bros demolition and Limerick Regeneration, and will be open to the whole community.
Mayor Long praised Mark Quinn for the idea of ‘Westival’, saying: “I look forward to opening it. It is another positive step for the Our Lady of Lourdes area. We will be up for the challenge, and it will also be nice to be in a position to honour and showcase Mark Quinn’s achievements. It is not all about music, it is about the whole ambience of people coming together.” A Facebook page highlighting Westival will be set up in the next few days.