Action from the churn racing contest at a previous Strand Festival
FIRST came the Baron of Broadway, aka John J Hanley of Strand whose colourful and eventful life made national and international headlines up to the time of his death in 1956.
Then came the Baron of Strand, a competition dreamed up as part of the community’s annual summer festival. Now the women of Strand and beyond are getting a look-in and on Saturday week, they are expected to vie, in good humour naturally, for the title the Baroness of Strand.
This year’s Strand Festival, which runs from August 9 to 11, has something to offer everyone, according to festival committee chairman, Liam Herlihy, including a bit of history about one of the parish’s most famous native sons, Baron Hanley.
On opening night, Friday, August 9 local historian Timmy Mulcahy will fill in some of the local colour and detail about the Baron, as part of a lively Rambling Session at the Strand Rambling House.
On Saturday evening, the road hurling competition gets underway, a contest of skill and co-ordination that has become a very popular staple of the festival. Churn-racing follows and then comes the selection of the Baronesa of Strand at 9pm, followed by outdoor entertainment with Paddy Quilligan.
Sunday morning sees a new addition to the festival programme with guided walk by Pat Sugrue along the Great Southern Greenway, starting at the Viewing Point at Barna at 12pm. This is a 16km walk which will end with refreshments back in Strand but a shorter loop will also be available.
The annual Vintage Car and Tractor Run gets underway at 1pm and proceeds from this year’s event will go to Pieta House and Crumlin Children’s Hospital.
The Dog Show takes place at 2pm followed at 3pm by Crossroads Dancing in Strand, with the John Collins Ceili Band.
Mike O’Brien takes to the stage at 5pm and the festival will wind up with the final of the churn-racing.
“We are hoping for fine weather,” Mr Herlihy said. “But most of all we are looking forward to a good, family-friendly weekend for the whole community. We would also like to see our neighbours and friends from nearby parishes come and join us over the weekend.”