When everyone else is enjoying the Christmas break, the committee of the New Inn Mummers Festival will be putting the final touches to arrangements for the annual festival which takes place on Saturday night January 4 and Sunday afternoon January 5 in the leisure centre.
This unique festival of music, song, dance, and storytelling is being staged for the 36th time, and continues to grow in popularity and attract new patrons.
The festival format this year has been revamped, to cater for the introduction of a juvenile competition for performers under age 13, and this will be staged on the Sunday afternoon in conjunction with the junior event for those under 18. The organisers decided to add a juvenile competition to encourage and develop young talent that will be the lifeblood of the festival for the future, and to acknowledge the great work being done by music teachers throughout the region.
The senior event will be staged on Saturday night, and early indications are that there will be plenty of competition for the Peter J Donohue Perpetual Trophy.
The festival secretary, Michael Finnerty of Corbane, is urging groups to confirm their participation as soon as possible, and he can be contacted on 087 3828281. “We are really pleased to have this new competition for the juveniles this year,” he added.
Festival chairman Michael Mullins confirmed this week that, thanks to the generous sponsors of the festival, there will be cash prizes and trophies for winning groups and many individual prizes to recognise talented singers, musicians, dancers, and storytellers. There will be a special award this year to honour the late Joe Monaghan of Rahan, who contributed much to the festival over the years.
The Mummers Festival is organised under the auspices of New Inn Community Council, and 36 years ago it emerged as an idea to raise funds for badly needed community facilities. Today the festival is helping to enhance those facilities for the youth in the area.
The festival committee guarantees a feast of wonderful traditional entertainment in New Inn on January 4 and 5, in a well heated and comfortable venue, and welcomes new groups and patrons to festival 2014.