Arva basks in glory of 2017 3 Province Festival success

Longford Leader

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Something for everyone at Breffni 3 Provinces challenge

The start of the road races at the Breffni 3 Provinces Challenge

As festivals go, the 2017 version of Arva's much acclaimed 3 Province Festival will be difficult to surpass, writes Liam Cosgrove.

From the minute the gates opened on the Co Cavan town's 60th agricultural show, there was an innate feeling amongst locals and festival-goers that this year's celebrations promised plenty.

Thousands of euro in prizemoney together with hundreds of classes from cattle to sheep and homecrafts attracted visitors as well as entrants from opposite sides of the border.

The ten day extravaganza has been popularly credited for its universal appeal to young and old alike.

By Tuesday and Wednesday that all-encompassing mantra was in rich evidence as the town played host to football action involving U8, U10 and U12 agegroups.

Sandwiched between all of that was a highly informative walk around Bruse Mountain alongside the novel addition of a Moonlight Outdoor Cinema.

The sedentary pace of proceedings picked up once more on Thursday as locals took to the shores of Garty Lough for a Raft Wars and water sports competition.

By Saturday, all eyes were firmly fixed on the festival's ever popular Breffni 3 Province Challenge.

In an occasion which has raised a near €1m for cancer research and treatment, close to 700 participants took on varying distances across the rolling hills of north Longford and beyond.

That was followed by the customary 'welcome home' get-together on the Market Square.

If there was any energy left in the legs of locals it was put to the test once more on Sunday, courtesy of a treasure hunt and well attended 'Jiving on the Square' competition.

All of this before any consideration was given to what can only be described as a comprehensive array of live entertainment over the course of a week and a half.

Given its virtually faultless staging, it's not surprising that attention is already being drawn to its corresponding showcase in 12 months time.