Fun-packed line-up for Castlerea Rose Festival

The Bank Holiday Weekend promises to be an eventful one in Castlerea, as Castlerea Rose Festival takes place from Wednesday, August 1st to Monday, August 7th.             Highlights of this year’s festival include the magnificent opening parade on Wednesday evening, the Scarecrow Competition, pig racing and a barbecue night at St. Patrick’s Street on Thursday evening.             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.             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. 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. On Monday, the festival comes to a close with the annual agricultural show.