O’Carolan Harp festival weekend

The 40th O’Carolan Harp Festival takes place in Keadue this weekend.

Among the attractions will be the many Craft Exhibitions and demonstrations which will take place on Sunday, 5th August, 2018.  The craft demonstrations have become very popular over the years where visitors to the Festival can see for themselves the skills involved in wood turning, pottery making, etc.

Among those attending this year will be The Bakery, Deirdre & Padraig Keenan from Kiltoom, will have brown bread, soda bread, cakes scones, tarts & cakes & many treats all on sale.  Also in attendance will be Moran’s Mega Jam from Ballinagh, Co. Cavan, they will have jams, chutneys and relishes all on sale.

While the craft exhibitors will also be only too willing to explain the amount of work involved in producing their goods, all items produced will be for sale.

Anybody interested in either exhibiting or demonstrating their products can get more information by emailing:- [email protected]

Sunday, 5th August, 2018.

Senator Maura Hopkins will officially open the 40th O’Carolan Festival in Keadue on Sunday, 5th August, 2018 at 3.30p.m.  The official opening will be preceeded by the parade which will be led by the Raheen Pipe Band.  The official opening will be followed by an open-air, free event on the the gig-rig with the finest of music and song from Tom Doherty, David Doocey & Pat Coyne.  To finish up the evening, the living legends Stockton’s Wing are in concert in St. Ronan’s Hall at 9.00p.m.

Entertainment on Monday, 6th August, 2018.

The afternoon kicks off at 3.00p.m. at the Heritage Park with music, song & dance with the Keadue Comhaltas Group.  This will be followed at 4.00p.m. with a free open-air concert on the street with the hugely popular Lee Matthews and his band.

To finish off the evening we return to St. Ronan’s Hall, Keadue at 7.00p.m. for the Internationally renowned Door Dancing competition.  Music will be provided by Liam Purcell and his ever increasing number of musical friends.

Door dancing – In Ireland long ago it was customary when groups of people worked together as a ‘Meitheal’ to dig potatoes or save hay, that they would gather after a day’s work to relax and have a dance.  These gatherings took place in traditional Irish cottages with mud floors and flagstones. A door was taken off its hinges to provide a flat surface for dancing. Solo set dancers were asked to dance on the doors as the skill of the dancer is best shown by how well they can produce the variety of steps within the narrow confines of the dance surface.  In order to guage the best dancer amongst a group of solo dancers, they placed four glasses of porter on the corners of the door to help determine the most skilled dancer. The person to spill the least amount of porter was the winner of the competition. The custom was revived at the O’Carolan Festival in Keadue, Co. Roscommon by the late Josie McDermott, where dancers take to the door to demonstrate their solo dancing prowess.  This is always a very popular event and it is enjoyed by young and old alike.

More details on all events are available on our website

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