The 2022 edition of the annual horse fair & festival is scheduled to commence on Sunday 2nd with equine competitions continuing on Monday 3rd & Saturday 6th October.
The importance of hosting this international event to the economy of town and its hinterland cannot be underestimated; proof enough was provided with the two year absence during the Pandemic and the Year of the Foot and Mouth. As a heritage event is has no equal. a point underscored and acknowledged by President Higgins in his opening address in 2018 when he pronounced the Great October Fair being worthy of UNESCO status. With the cooperation of local authority there is no reason why this cannot be achieved.
However with some 4 months left on the planning cycle there is frustration on the part of the Festival Organizers on how some of the undertakings given last Autumn will ever be put in place.
With practically six months of the year behind us, commitments and assurances given to meetings of the MDC and full County Council about significant resources being deployed and the early appointment of an Event Co-Ordinator, assistance with Insurances have yet to be finalized.
“We have been looking for a follow up meeting with the Council Executive to discuss plans and production for 2022, in its absence it is extremely frustrating and difficult for our voluntary committee to plan for this year’s event.
To coincide with the Horse activities the festival committee are currently busy putting together a program of events to ensure visitors to town over the first two weekends in October have an enjoyable experience. The second weekend focused on Country Fair Day has become a huge annual gathering of local diaspora. Fireworks are scheduled for the Friday night, with the Country Fair Day spectacle in the town centre and the Mare and Foal Fair taking place on the Green on Saturday. The closing Sunday (9th October) the festival dog show, food and craft market, children’s bakery competitions, children’s tractor race and vintage display are again all being planned. With 90 % of all the events / activities staged being are free, the bulk of the revenue needed to pay to produce the Festival or Carnival activities requires sponsorship and support from the towns business and commercial sector.
The lifeblood of the festival is our loyal sponsors and we are indebted to the local business’s that contribute towards our running costs which are in excess of €50,000. If our festival is to continue then we need more sponsors underwrite the investment”, urges Mal.
The Queen of the Fair selection night is scheduled for early September and any girls over 18 interested in taking part this year should contact the festival secretary.
For more information log-on to http://ballinasloeoctoberfair.com,email firstname.lastname@example.org. or call the Fair HQ on 087 2071869. Follow the festival activities through their Facebook Page below:
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