I got involved with Kiltimagh Tourism in September 2015. Primarily I took on this role to help the committee to organise and run the St Patrick’s Day Parade Festival, but how wrong I was and how much more is involved, but how enjoyable the last few years has been since getting involved with it.
In order for these festivals to happen we have to do some fundraising, and we came together to try and come up with some novel ideas. The first of these fundraising events took place in December 2015 when we hosted Stars in their Eyes in the Park Hotel, which proved to be highly successful and also showed the talent we have in our little town and the surrounding areas. This event became an annual event and drew large crowds.
We then decided to run our own take on the Operation Transformation Programme. This entailed us having leaders from our community and people following these leaders, we raised around €12000 each year for charity, each leader arranged different exercise classes, walks etc. for their teams each week for the 6 weeks, we would hold a weigh in every Wednesday evening and organized a group walk on the Saturday mornings and Monday evenings. We would have up to 250 people registered for this over the past 5 years. This was definitely a very worthwhile event to be involved in as people were feeling low after the Christmas holidays and it seemed to give people the lift and get rid of those January Blues.
This leads us on to our St Patrick’s Day Festival which Kiltimagh has been renowned for over the past 25 years, we as a committee had big shoes to fill with the past committee of Nancy Lavin, Francis Mc Nicholas and Brendan Killeen, having ran such successful parades. We took it on and we could not imagine the support we received from the town and the local businesses. We always welcome home bands to the town, but the two bands who are always to the fore front are the Quaker City String band from Philadelphia, and the Oldham Pipe Band from Manchester, with music in the local pubs to inter-pub quiz, flags and bunting flying high along the streets, it makes for a great carnival atmosphere.
We decided in 2016 to rejuvenate the Coilte Come Home Festival, in conjunction with Race 2 Glory. The Big Red Barn got involved, hosting big names such as Robert Mizzell, Jimmy Buckley, Bagatelle and the Kilkennys , we host a family day on the Sunday, with events for young and old, thankfully the weather has been on our side over the past 4 years so to see the town coming out and sitting around with kids playing and taking part in all the games makes everything we do so worthwhile.
This year we had hoped to create another festival in October, this in conjunction with Terry Mc Donnagh, we are putting together the Raftery Festival, The Park Hotel will be hosting a concert with Sean Keane, Terry will be hosting a writing workshop with different well known wrtiers. Unfortunately due to Covid-19 we are postponing till October 2021.
At this point I want to acknowledge all the hard work the committee members do on this group We really enjoy working alongside our community and the support we receive. I also want to thank all our sponsors and all the local businesses who so generously help us each year.