Clondalkin Festival a simple message of community and family

By Maurice Garvey

Now in it’s ninth year, the Clondalkin Village Festival is set to take place this weekend (Friday, June 28 - Sunday, June 30) – a family friendly event that contains many free activities for residents of all ages.

Among the activities scheduled are free heritage tours of the Round Tower visitor centre (Brú Chrónáin), a public open day at Clondalkin Garda Station, a pop up Gaeltacht, a village cycle, the Handcraft and Horticultural Show, plus free children’s entertainment.

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Tower Road and Main Road in the village will be pedestrianised on Sunday from 2pm to 6pm, to allow for street performers and performance acts on the main stage.

There is a lot of organising and volunteers involved in the festival, but it comes down to a simple message of community and family, according to Thyes Kavanagh, Clondalkin Festival Director, Clondalkin Chamber of Commerce.

“When you pedestrianise the village it is a novelty, but the festival was designed to be family friendly, and as much of it as possible is free,” said Mr Kavanagh.

“It’s about community, not commercialised. Festivals are a great way for people to meet their neighbours. People often introduce a family member who is up from the country. Clondalkin has a big population but it is great to have one day of good PR.”

Clondalkin Festival 2019 kicks off on Friday with a Pop-Up Gaeltacht event in Gunpowder at The Steering Wheel.

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Also on Friday, in St John’s Church at 7.30pm, there will be an interesting lecture on the late local historian Joe Williams, given by Dr Yvonne Williams. Admission is €5 at the door.

Saturday sees a fun family cycle around the village, which starts at the Laurels at 11.30am - organised and run by The Laurels Charity Crew.

Clondalkin Garda Station Open Day takes place on Saturday, from 2pm to 5pm, with guided tours of the station, a display of specialist units, Garda vehicles, and fire trucks.

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On Saturday at 2pm in Clondalkin Library,  there will be the launch of a new publication about Clondalkin Paper Mills, by writer Nathan O’Donnell, who worked in collaboration with students of Collinstown Park Community College.

 Clondalkin Round Tower Heritage Group Tour Guides (Clann Chrónáin) will be providing tours of St John’s, and the Round Tower Visitor’s Centre throughout the day on both Saturday and Sunday. No ticket required.

The Round Tower Visitor’s Centre, Brú Chrónáin, is celebrating its second birthday with a garden party on Sunday.

Sunday is billed as the big day of the festival, the streets alive with street acts, stilt-walkers, costume characters, with free face-painting and balloon modelling in the village for kids.

 The Main stage will be in front of AIB, featuring a great line up of music acts, stage and dance schools – along with children’s entertainer and puppeteer Denis Wiggie Coffey.

The festival committee have organised free giveaways from the stage on the day with spot prizes galore.

Local businesses are heavily involved in supporting the festival, and many are expected to remain open, with some offering great deals.

Clondalkin and District Handcraft and Horticultural Show will take place in Newlands Garden Centre on Saturday, and in Aras Chrónáin on Sunday. See their Facebook page for more details.

On Sunday, Main Street and Tower Road will be closed to traffic from 1.45pm to 6.15pm to facilitate the festivities.

The Festival Committee would like to thank all their sponsors for their support.

Local businesses or services are welcome to drop spot prizes to the Main Stage on Sunday, and received a mention from the resident MC.

Further information is available on the Facebook page Clondalkin Festival InClondalkin.

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