It’s all about Joe this weekend

As the home town of legendary singer Joe Dolan, Mullingar has always been a Mecca for his devoted fans.

This week the town prepares to celebrate their beloved son in style with a weekend long Joe Dolan Festival from today, Friday July 29 to Sunday July 31.

The highlight of the festival will be the award-winning Joe Dolan - The Reunion Show, a production which sees a projected Joe, reunited with his live band. The show will take place in Mullingar Arts Centre tonight, Friday July 29. Speaking ahead of the event, Adrain Dolan said, “We’re really looking forward to seeing familiar faces from across the country and beyond who would have regularly attended Joe shows. The reunion tour is one of the highlights of the weekend. The arts centre is where Joe first one a talent competition which started him on the path to fame, so the show has a big significance.”

Adrian went on to say that the show itself is a mixture of the past, present, and future, “We’re mixing the past with a bit of the present, with Karen as the singer now. We also have a new album coming out so I guess that’s a part of the future.”

Other events over the three days include entertainment in venues throughout the town. The Reunion Show will take place again at the Mullingar Arts Centre at 8pm followed by The Saturday Night Dance at The Greville Arms Hotel. Ronan Collins will guest with Karen and The Dolans. Dancing til late.

On Sunday July 31 the hit play by Padraig McIntyre, The Night Joe Dolan’s Car Broke Down on Sunday July 31.

Street entertainment has also been organised for the weekend which includes the Joe Dolan Impersonator Contest, live bands, a farmers’ market, and family entertainment. “This is really something for the fans. We’re hoping for some great audience participation,” said Adrian.

The Joe Dolan Impersonator Contest has already gained nation interest with the showdown taking place in The Market Square on Saturday July 30. Contestants will have only three minutes to impress the judges and the crowd, as amateur Joe Dolan impersonators bid to win the coveted Joe Dolan Cup, a recording session at the Joe Dolan Studios, and a taste of Joe Dolan’s Mullingar.

Belvedere House and Gardens will also run a Joe Dolan Belvedere Bus Tour which will take passengers on a free journey through Joe Dolan’s Mullingar and out to Belvedere, the photographic location of Joe’s first album, The Answer To Everything.

The festival finale dance takes place in the Mullingar Park Hotel on Sunday night, July 31. Proceeds from the dance will go to Joe Dolan’s favourite school in Mullingar, St Bridget’s.

Adrian and the Dolan family hope that by organising this weekend they can give back something to the town of Mullingar and its people who have been so supportive of Joe and his family. “We would like to give back a little bit to the town. They have given us a statue of Joe, as well as naming the bridge after him. By bringing Joe’s fans to Mullingar we hope to give the town a boost and help local business,” he added.

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