The annual gathering in Glenties, the Harvest Fair Festival, kicks off this weekend.
This end of harvest festival will definitely be a celebration this year, for, after the fantastic weather throughout the summer, all harvests have been won and now is the time to celebrate.
The festival runs from tomorrow, Friday, September 6 to Thursday, September 12 - the famous Harvest Fair Day. We kick off on Friday with the four candidates that are seeking the position of The Lord Mayor of Glenties going head to head on the Main Street in the eagerly awaited mayoral debate. In this debate, the gloves are off and there’s no holding back as reputations are at stake and any false moves could affect their status in this very close contest for Lord Mayor. The candidates will be eased into their battle with music from local band “Taylor Made”.
Saturday is kids day, with GAA blitzes for u10 boys and u13 girls in the GAA grounds. From 1pm to 6pm, mums and dads can relax as the kids enjoy bouncy castles, art and poetry, action stories and the disco which, at this stage, should have them tired out for bed so mum and dad can have their time in town.
For the energetic the walk to the site of the 1944 plane crash might be of interest, to book ring Brendan on 086 353 0537. When mums and dads get back to town, they have the chance to see the world class stunt bike rider Mattie Griffin perform on the Main Street at 9pm. This is a spectacular show of speed, skill and control of a motor bike with humour thrown in to rev things up. There will also be music by local up and coming band “Loose Change” to entertain the crowd on the street. Then they can go and enjoy that - that is, if they’re not competing in or watching the Mr & Mrs competition in the Highlands Hotel.
Sunday starts off with an ideal way to clear any cobwebs from the night before, with the annual cycle and 10k road race. The cycle is 30k, 60k or, for the real enthusiast, the 120k event. This year’s Charles Mc Guinness 10k run is an official Grand Prix event, so it will attract a large crowd. Get out and cheer on the runners and cyclists. For the mechanically minded, there is a Honda run (ring 087 630 3385), tractor and vintage car runs on at 2pm.
As the music kicks off on the street at 3pm with Shaun Mc Monagle, Pedro’s birds of prey take to the skies for a demonstration. Just before the annual parade, Mattie Griffin and his bikes take to the street for another round of stunts. This is not to be missed. Then the float and band parade will take place through the town.
To slow things down then there is a BBQ at Leo’s bar in aid of the coronary care unit in Letterkenny. To finish the day as energetic as it started, we have the Queen Dance in the Highlands Hotel with music from the fantastic
We then look forward to the Fair Day on Thursday, but in between we have some very good events. On Tuesday night, there is a monster bingo in the community centre. On Wednesday, the fantastic Henry Girls are in concert in the Highlands, joined by local artists.
Thursday is the main event, with street traders with stalls of all kinds taking to the street. Some of the old traditional crafts such as rope making, metal work and baking can still be seen at the fair. A display of local music and dance will also be on the Main Street.
The local bars are providing music to cater for all during the festival, and nightly bar extensions.
The Limelight is open on Saturday 7th for over 18s and on Wednesday 11th for Teen disco.
Also during the festival, McGurk’s fun fair will be in town.
There are traffic restrictions for Sunday 6th and Thursday 12th in place.
Our mayor candidates are holding different events over the festival: Bean has his Honda run; Eileen has the Mr & Mr;, James has a raffle for a cow, yes, a cow; and Phildy has a €1,000 draw. Details of all are in the programmes.
All is left to be said is, let’s enjoy the Harvest Fair!