Lawrence Hennigan from Attymass in County Mayo is organising a two week Tradfest in Manchester to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Ireland's favourite stout. The Guinness Tradfest takes place in Levenshulme which is home to the biggest Irish community outside London and is a village which has close links to Mayo. It is one of the highlights of this year’s Manchester Irish Festival and runs from Friday March 6 to Saturday March 21, the festival will stage close to 200 events at 32 venues, enough to represent each of Ireland’s 32 counties throughout Greater Manchester, making it one of Europe’s biggest Irish festivals.
Lawrence said about the forthcoming festival: “Our inspiration for the festival has come from Ballina’s Salmon Festival which we visit every year in the summer. We have just started a link with the Royal Theatre in Castlebar and are very excited about the plans to bring the World Fleadh there in the summer. We have been a big supporter of the Manchester festival since it started in 1996. Many of the events are free or have been kept to a nominal charge. With the pound being so low we are expecting a large influx of visitors from all over Europe and America, everything here is so much more affordable for them and they are sure of a warm Irish welcome. The Irish in Manchester really know how to throw a party and over here it’s a two week party rather than just going out on St Patrick’s Day. In fact there is a massive build up to the festival with events in January and February, along with some post festival events which go into April.”
Levenshulme village will stage just over 80 of those events making it once again one of the main visitor destinations, in fact on St Patrick’s day itself it is not uncommon to see queues forming outside the Irish bars of people wanting to celebrate their patron’s feast day.