Details revealed of Ballinrobe’s Pirate Queen festival

In the summer, Ballinrobe has the Queen of the Lakes – now it will have its very own Pirate Queen festival in February.

There has been significant local, national and international interest in next month’s production of The Pirate Queen by Ballinrobe Musical Society, prompting the local community to build a festival around the show.

This is the world amateur premiere of The Pirate Queen, and huge interest has been sparked by the fact that creators John McColgan and Moya Doherty – the creators of Riverdance – have selected Ballinrobe to give this show its first outing on an Irish stage.

“This is great honour for Ballinrobe, and we are holding a number of events to mark the show. The town will be en fete for the 10-night run of the show,” said Martin Joyce of Ballinrobe Community Development Committee. The show runs in Ballinrobe Community School auditorium from Thursday, February 11 to Saturday, February 20.

The planned events include a special meal and show promotion with local restaurants – to highlight that special ‘West End’ feel that Ballinrobe experiences at this time of the year. If you dine in any of the participating restaurants before the show, on any of the 10 nights, you will get a free programme for the show. Programmes cost €5, so it’s a significant promotion. Details of the participating restaurants will be announced shortly.

A Pirate Kings and Queens activity day for the children – Lakeside Sport and Fitness Centre – Saturday, February 20, 2pm to 5pm. Bouncing castles, slides, and all manner of great activities.  Entrance fee is €4, or €3 if you’re in fancy dress. And any fancy dress will do: it doesn’t have to follow the Pirate Queen theme. Children must be accompanied by adults. There will be free goodies for children.

Pirate Queen art competitions for local primary and secondary schools. Pupils from third, fourth, fifth and sixth classes in the 18 primary schools of the region will enter, with prizes for the top three in each class section. There are also prizes for the top three first, second and Transition year entries from Ballinrobe Community School. Entries must be left at Ballinrobe Community School reception before January 29. The winning entries will go on display in Ballinrobe Community School auditorium during the 10 nights of The Pirate Queen.

A competition for the Best Dressed Window (with a Pirate Queen/Grace O’Malley theme ) – prize of €100 sponsored by Ballinrobe Musical Society. All local businesses have been urged to make a special effort to dress their windows this year.

Tickets for the show will go on sale on February 1. To reserve tickets from that date onwards, contact Sean Costello, Abbey Street, telephone 094 954 1405.

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