It’s the Big Hello weekend where communities all over Ireland including Donegal are celebrating their sense of community spirit in their own town or village.
There is a busy bank holiday weekend ahead for Donegal as 42 events are taking place across the county ranging from the May the 4th festival celebrations in Inishowen to the Butt Drama Circle’s appreciation event tonight (May 3) in Stranorlar to Streetfests in Dungloe and Gaoth Dobhair to family fun days all over the county.
The Big Hello National Community Weekend scheme is an initiative of the Department of Rural and Community Development administered through the Donegal LCDC which is supported by Donegal County Council. This is the first year of the initiative and €10,000 has been allocated to 42 events which will take place over this May Bank Holiday weekend.
There will be stories and memories shared at the County Donegal Railway Heritage Centre in Donegal Town on Saturday while the Laghey Blast Festival will take place on Sunday.
Cosite Forbartha na Carraige will passing on the traditional skills of knitting, weaving and spinning at their Hands on Heritage family event over the weekend while the annual Street Fest will take place in Dungloe on Sunday.
The Lennon View residents association in Letterkenny is hosting a ‘Get to know your Neighbour’ day on Bank Holiday Monday while Coiste Culturtha Loch an Iúir are organising a nature walk & traditional music session this evening, Friday. And for anyone taking part in this weekend’s community clean up with Lough Eske Community Development Group there is a treat in store with a community BBQ as a reward for all their hard work.
For pizza lovers a visit to Artlink at Fort Dunree in Inishowen will be a must on Sunday as they host an outdoor Pizza Party and keeping with the Star Wars theme there will be a ‘Jedi Academy’ for all budding Jedi in Playdays Community Childcare at Malin Head Community Centre on Saturday as well as a Star Wars Family Fun day in Malin Head, Clonmany and Greencastle including a documentary screening on the local fishing industry in Inishowen Maritime Museum.
Other events in Inishowen include a tour of Rock Art of the Isle of Doagh, community coffee morning in Carrowmenagh, cookery demonstration in Culdaff, an open community intercultural meal hosted by Failte Inishowen and an intergenerational tea dance in Moville.
Forbairt Fhanada CTR will be bringing old skills back to life at their community day. The Mad Hatters Lennon Tea Party will be hosted by the Lennon Festival while the Letterkenny CDP will be hosting an intercultural family fun day and an evening of music, dance, song and stories celebrating Comhaltas Letterkenny will also be taking place over the weekend.
The people of Fintown are in for a treat this evening (Friday) with as Forbairt Eachla CTR are organising bingo and a quiz followed by a meal of ‘fish and chips’. Lifford Celtic Youth Members are invited to come along to a Fun Day on Saturday. The Gateway writers are hosting an open evening today Friday at 3pm in the Old Courhouse Lifford while Meenreagh Social Club will be busy planning for their community tea party on Saturday.
St. Johnston Cricket Club are holding a mouth watering multi-cultural cuisine day while the Red Hughs GFC will be hosting a Wellbeing Day, exhibition and underage tournament.
Other events include a family fun day and car boot sale in Mhin na Leice, a school of music for young people as part of the Cup of Tae festival in Ardara and StreetFest in Amharclann Ghaoth Dobhair as well as a weekend of mountain walks and talks with Cumman Staire and Seanchais Chloich Cheann Fhaola. The Ballyshannon Regeneration Group are hosting a family fun day in Allingham Park while Coiste Halla Naomh Bride will be enjoying an evening of music, ceol and craic.
Anyone interested in further information on venues, times and dates of the events mentioned should contact the event organisers locally.
There is no excuse to be bored this weekend!
Here's a guide to what's on in each of the electoral areas:
Donegal - Laghey Blast Festival, Laghey Blast one day festival for all ages
Donegal -County Donegal Railway Restoration CLG
Social Gathering to mark 60th Anniversary - sharing memories & story telling
Donegal - Lough Eske Community Development Group
BBQ following Community Clean Up
Donegal - Coiste Halla Naomh Bride, Oiche Airneala - music, ceol & craic
Donegal - Cosite Forbartha na Carraige
Hands on Heritage - family event with demo of traditional skills et knitting, weaving, spinning etc
Donegal - Ballyshannon Rengeration Group, Family fun day in Allingham Park
Glenties - Dungloe Street Feast, Annual Dungloe Street Feast
Glenties - Cumann Staire & Seanchais Chloich Cheann Fhaola, Heritage Weekend - consisting of mountain walks & talks
Glenties - Amharclan Ghaoth Dobhair, Streetfest
Glenties - Awake Tourism (Cup of Tae), School of Music for young people as part of Cup of Tae Festival
Glenties - Coiste Culturtha Loch an Iuir, Organised Nature Walk & trad music session
Glenties - Coiste Forbartha Mhin na Leice, Family Fun Day & Car Boot Sale
Glenties - Forbairt Eachla CTR, Quiz & Bingo (in Irish) with Fish & Chips
Inishowen - Artlink, Outdoor Pizza Party
Inishowen - Malin Head Community Association, Hub for May the 4th Festival (Starwars) - Photographic display, Q&A, Childrens Art Classes & Selfie Hunt
Inishowen - Inishowen Maritime Heritage Co
Part of 'May the Fourth be with you" Event - shows in Planetarium theatre & screending of locally made documentary about retired Fishermen & Seamen
Inishowen - St Baithins NS Parents Council, Community Tea Party
Inishowen - Greencastle Community Development CLG
Star Wars Family Fun Day
Inishowen - Greencastle Community Development CLG, Community Afternoon Tea
Inishowen - Clonmany Youth & Community Resource Centre
Star Wars Family Fun Day
Inishowen - Lands of Eogain, Heritage Tour of Rock Art of Isle of Doagh
Inishowen - Carrowmenagh Community Centre
Community Coffee Morning with Arts & Crafts
Inishowen - Culdaff Development Assoc/Tidy Towns, Cookery Demonstration to highlight ways of preventing food waste
Inishowen - Playdays Community Childcare
Star Wars celebration/Jedi Academy
Inishowen - Explore Inishowen
May the fourth be with you festival
Inishowen - Failte Inishowen, Open community Meal sharing event to promote intercultural dialogue
Inishowen - Moville & District Family Resource Centre, Intergenerational Tea Dance/Community Celebration
Letterkenny - Lennon View Residents Association, "Get to know your Neighbour" day
Letterkenny - Ray Community Group, Streetfest
Letterkenny - Letterkenny Community Heritage Group, An evening of music, dance, songs & stories to celebrate Comhaltas Letterkenny
Letterkenny - Letterkenny CDP, Family Fun Day - intercultural
Letterkenny - Forbairt Fhanada CTR, Community Day - bringing old skills back to life
Lennon Festival - Mad Hatters Lennon Tea Party - old time fancy dress & characters
Stranorlar - Finn Valley AC, Local Area School Sports - Training day
Stranorlar - Gateway Writers, Open Evening - Writers Reading Extracts from works
Stranorlar - Butt Drama Circle Ltd, Club Members Appreciation Night to celebrate Club reaching All Ireland Drama Festivals Final
Stranorlar - Irish Countrywomen’s Assoc (Finn Valley Guild), Local Map reading of internet sites for research, exhibition of women from the last century and how they have shaped our lives & Irish Language exercise
Stranorlar - Lifford Celtic Youths, Fun Day for Club Members
Stranorlar - St Johnston Cricket Club, Multi Cultural Cuisine Day
Stranorlar - Balor DCA, Team Building Refresher Workshop
Stranorlar - Red Hughs GFC, Wellbeing Day & exhibition & underage tournament
Stranorlar - Meenreagh Social Centre, Community Tea Party