Roscommon Lamb Festival was launched recently in the Abbey Hotel. Chairman Gerry Browne in his address reiterated that the festival is rooted in the soil and landscape of county Roscommon and was pleased to note that it has now taken root in the hearts and minds of the population of the county. He said the festival will open as usual in the Roscommon Livestock Mart on Wednesday May 2 with a special sheep sale and this year there will be a reenactment of a traditional fair day scene courtesy of Tommy Murray and the Roscommon Drama Group.
Some of the highlights of this year’s festival include an attempt to establish a world record for the most number of people hand shearing sheep in one place. This will take place in Loughnaneane Park on May 6 as part of the family fun day.
On Friday night May 4 the first high profile food event takes place. Entitled Real Roscommon Food this event will be addressed by Professor Patrick Wall of UCD who will speak about the high health value of food from Roscommon farms. Also speaking will be Pat Lawlor who will outline the importance of branding in relation to food products. Celebrity chef Neven McGuire will demonstrate the use of local produce, and there will be tasting of the best that the county has to offer on the night.
There are a number of heritage, farm, and leisure walks during the course of the week. A visual art exhibition will open on Thursday night, May 3, with work from local artists on display throughout the weekend. Albert Siggins a well-known local historian will deliver a lecture on the origin of the place name Ros Comán.
On Saturday May 5 a Kids Can Cook workshop will take place in the festival marquee with a crafternoon tea event running simultaneously.
There will be a competition to find the North West Young Sheep Farmer 2012 and this will be judged by Macra president Alan Jago.
Saturday night finishes with the usual massive Brazilian-style BBQ with music from Four Men and a Base.
Sunday morning sees the start of the international sheep dog trials at 08:00. The trials will continue throughout the day.
The family fun day takes place also on Sunday May 6 in Loughnaneane Park with a host of attractions and activities for all. The Global Food Village will also feature in the park. Meanwhile the Wool Craft Village will be in full swing in the marquee with workshops and demonstrations featuring shearing, spinning, weaving, felt making, knitting, dyeing, in short everything to do with wool!
Sunday night finishes off with Ceilí Mór in the marquee with the Mat Cunningham Ceili Band.
A number of fishing events will also be taking place throughout the festival.
The festival finishes up on Monday May 7 with the Carers mini marathon.
Full details of the festival programme are available from the Roscommon Lamb Festival on www.roscommonlambfestival.com