All roads will lead to Granard next weekend as the town gears itself up for the annual Easter Festival which takes place on Saturday and Sunday.
The event takes place from April 19-20 and plans are in place to ensure that this year’s festival is bigger and better than anything seen before.
The festival kicks off on Saturday morning at 11am with a historical walk of Granard led by local historian Jimmy Donohoe. Jimmy’s tour will be both enjoyable and informative as he holds a wealth of knowledge on the history and culture of the north Longford town.
On Saturday afternoon at 3pm, the gruelling 5K Run/Jog/Walk will test the stamina of all particpants. Proceedings kick off at Kiernan Milling, turning left at Brown’s Cross and then left onto Granardkille Road with the finish line at Daly’s Corner, Moxham St. This event is kindly sponsored by Durkin Podiatry and entry is €10 per adult and €5 for U16 participants. Prizes include Men 1st - €100, 2nd €50 3rd €25; 1st u16 €25. Ladies 1st, €100; 2nd €50 3rd €25; 1st u16 €25. Registration will take place from 2pm at Kiernan Milling, Longford Rd, Granard. All walkers, joggers and elite runners are welcome. Refreshments will be served in Fay’s Bar afterwards and more information can be obtained by calling Patrick on 043 6687935.
Later in the evening, at 9:30pm the Novelty Tug-O-War will take place on Main Street. Local businesses are invited to enter a team of seven people. The cost is €20 per team and the winners will be presented with trophies proudly sponsored by Paul & Chrissie Flood.
On Easter Sunday from 2pm onwards, there will be lots of fabulous entertainment for children and adults, including fire eating, stilt walking and unicyclists from Corvenieos Entertainment. “There will also be face painting and balloon modelling,” added organiser Eimear O’Hara. “All of this wonderful and exciting entertainment is free of charge! The parade is expected to pass through Main Street at 2pm. Local man John Macken Snr, a stalwart in the Granard community, will be this year’s Grand Marshal and the town’s very popular David ‘Butch’ Cassidy will MC on the day. Longford Pipe Band will also be in attendance and there are numerous floats on board also.”
The Best Overall Entry will receive a very special perpetual trophy dedicated to the memory of Carmel Fay - a founder member of the Easter Festival. “Carmel was the Chairperson and driving force behind this festival for the past two years,” continued Ms O’Hara. “Her enthusiasm and motivation was infectious and she is sorely missed by all of us.”
Other prizes on the day include Most Colourful Entry, Best Entertainment Entry and Best Dressed Shop Window. After the parade, the crowd will be in for a special treat with the Madagascar Circus and appearances by Marty the dancing Zebra, Alex the friendly Lion and Melman the hypochondriac Giraffe. Musical entertainment will also be provided by Pascal, Liz and Davy. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the fun this Easter in Granard.
With such a variety of free, live entertainment there is something for everyone. The committee would also like to take the opportunity to thank all the local businesses who kindly and generously sponsored this year’s event as well as main sponsor Gerry Ellis & Sons Fresh Today.