A magnificent and colourful parade, a scarecrow competition extraordinaire, pig racing and a line-up of some of the country’s top musicians are what’s on offer at Castlerea Rose Festival 2007. Details of Castlerea Rose Festival 2007 were revealed at a special launch in Tully’s Hotel in Castlerea on Thursday evening last. Festival Chairman John Mulligan revealed the details and paid tribute to the small committee who have kept the event going for the past 20 years. One of the most innovative events at this year’s festival is a Scarecrow Competition which is being organised by Tully’s Pharmacy. Entry forms are available from the Pharmacy and entrants are asked to make a scarecrow that will stand up on its own and must be between 1.5 m and 2 m high. All materials used must be recyclable. The grand opening parade takes place on Wednesday evening, August 1st at 8 pm. The parade has been increasing in size each year this year will feature samba bands, 800 costumes, floats and as usual, will be led by the Castlerea Brass and Reed Band. John Mulligan paid tribute to Pascal Fitzmaurice, who has organised the parade for the past three or four years, and promised that this year’s parade will be full of colour. Mr. Mulligan also noted that the parade costs thousands of euro to stage each year and he thanked the many local businesses who support the staging of the parade. This year’s parade will take the usual route, coming up Main Street and around to the barracks and the viewing stand. Rose contestants will also take part in this year’s parade. The official opening of the parade will be performed by Fergal O’Donnell, Manager of the Roscommon Minor All Ireland-winning team. That night, music will be provided by Sean Slattery (formerly of the Conquerors) who now has his own band The Connections. The highlight of Thursday night is the live pig racing and St. Patrick Street will be closed off for this family night out. Apart from the annual barbecue, new additions for this year’s night out include inflatable castles and slides. The pig racing helps raise funds for the festival and tickets for the races are currently on sale. One of the pig races will be a secret race and already great mystery surrounds this race, but an in-depth investigation by Roscommon People revealed that prize money for this race will be double last year’s figure! On Thursday night there will be a beat on the street with Seamus Shannon and PJ Murrihy. On Friday morning, Michael Joyce will run a junior golf competition for boys and girls and there will also be U10 hurling and football competitions for boys. The highlight of Friday is the Rose of Castlerea 2007 in River Island with music by Davis 4. Compere for this event is Dublin-based comedian Paul Malone. Pavement art is scheduled for Saturday with Mrs. Mannion at the Community School and the swimming gala returns to the festival line-up, with lots of different categories. There will also be a Barney disco for the younger festival goers on Saturday afternoon from 3 pm to 5 pm. Local band Sustained will rock the Fairgreen with the Saturday night Beat on the Street, while on Sunday night the music will be provided by Dublin City Ramblers. The Dublin City Ramblers now spend much of their year in Spain and so Castlerea was fortunate to get them for their festival date. On Monday, the festival comes to a close with the annual agricultural show. Concluding, Mr. Mulligan thanked the local Superintendent Sean Ward, as well as Sergeant O’Connor, the Civil Defence and local GP Greg Kelly for their co-operation. Roads will be closed during the parade and the pig racing and everybody is asked to co-operate with the Gardaí on duty.