Large crowds from throughout the country will converge on the East Galway village of New Inn this weekend for the annual mummers festival which takes place on Friday and Saturday nights January 6 and 7 at 7.30pm at the local leisure centre.
This year the junior section of the festival is being staged on Friday night while the senior event takes place on the Saturday night.
This major festival, which attracts loyal support from lovers of traditional music and entertainment, is being staged for the 34th year in New Inn. It continues to grow in popularity due to the quality of young talent emerging each year.
Those attending will be treated to a feast of music, song, dance and storytelling with top class entertainers participating with the various groups.
The level of participation this year is expected to be “as good as ever”, according to the festival committee which hopes that a new group will emerge.
“While the emphasis is very much on participation the competitive element adds to the excitement and tension for participants and patrons,” it says. “Every group wants to lift the Peter Donohue Perpetual Trophy, and as well as prizes for the winning groups there is recognition for exceptional individual performances. The best musician, dancer, flute player, singer, storyteller as well as the most outstanding entertainer are all recognised in both the junior and senior categories.
“The New Inn Mummers Festival has been entertaining patrons for over three decades and we are most anxious to keep the tradition going. We see the junior competition as being the lifeblood of the festival for the future and are urging support for the talented youngsters who will take to the stage on Friday night.”
Festival secretary Michael Finnerty says the event is “nicely timed” to bring the curtain down on the Christmas/New Year festivities .
“We are expecting most of the establishted groups again this year and a new junior group from Kilconnell,” he says.