It’s that time of year again, when the people of Inishowen come together to help spread sunshine and happiness across the peninsula as part of Feel Good Fortnight.
The annual event, which is now in its third year, kicks off this Saturday, June 21 and runs until July 5.
Last year Insight Inishowen, who organise the now-famous fortnight, won the judges’ special award in the all-Ireland Pride of Place competition for Feel Good Fortnight, which brings together individuals, community groups, local business, schools and artists from across the peninsula. And with a packed programme of events, this year’s FGF looks set to be bigger and brighter than ever.
Ruth Garvey-Williams, Chairperson of Insight Inishowen, said: “We hope everyone will get involved, the more people who take part the better. It’s all about putting a smile on someone else’s face, which in turn makes you feel good. That ‘pay it forward’ attitude is at the heart of Feel Good Fortnight.
“As well as lots of events in Buncrana, there is also a great programme in Moville this year, and we are hoping to make it a truly peninsula-wide event. The concept is about the community doing things and creating things together so we’d encourage anyone with a creative idea during the two weeks should just go for it.”
From concerts to craft fairs, heritage walks to healthy living talks, the programme for this year’s Feel Good Fortnight is simply brimming with creativity and community spirit.
There will be Teddy Bears picnics, Random Acts of Kindness, reading and story telling in Swan’s Park, the Forest of Intentions, window displays, healthy eating and living events for young and old alike, clothes swap, arts and crafts workshops and projects, yoga sessions, free complementary treatments, beach creativity, Irish conversation groups, art displays, Inishowen’s Got Talent and much, much more.
The fortnight kicks off in the early hours of this Saturday morning (June 21) by encouraging people to support the wonderful Feile Grianan Ailigh Summer Solstice Dawn Chorus. Also on Saturday is the Feel Good Craft Fair at The Exchange, Castle Avenue, featuring the best of locally made arts and crafts, refreshments, home baking and more.
Next Saturday, June 28, sees one of Feel Good Fortnights biggest events – Take it to the Streets in Buncrana. nRuth said: “This will be a really wonderful day. So many different business and individuals get involved and there will be fun projects for the whole family to enjoy.”
Taking place all day in Buncrana town centre, the event is sure to bring a smile to the faces of locals and visitors alike, and includes games and competitions, arts and crafts on the street, live music, as well as ice cream and a barbeque. There will even be an attempt at making Inishowen’s longest (paper) daisy chain, while the Feel Good Fairy will also be making an appearance!
The final weekend of Feel Good Fortnight will be just as eventful, culminating with the massive Mad Hatters Tea Party on the Shore Greens, Buncrana on Saturday July 5. With a barbeque featuring the famous Gallagher’s Feel Good Sausages, sports and games, music, birds of prey, and fancy dress, the Alice in Wonderland event will be a day to remember for the young and young at heart. There will be a hat parade with prizes for the craziest and most imaginative hats, as well as an attempt to build Buncrana’s biggest ever sandcastle, so bring your own bucket and spade!
For more on these and all the events, download the FGF brochure from www.feelgoodfortnight.com, from the Feel Good Fortnight Facebook page, or pick one up from shops and libraries around the area. Volunteers are always welcome to join the amazing feel good team – call 087 795 5401 to sign up for one or more events.
As in previous years, the peninsula will be once again ablaze with colour during FGF, particularly in Buncrana where local artists will add a splash of creativity to the town. Young and old have also been flexing their creative muscles again with the now famous Yarn Bombing, which has become synonymous with Feel Good Fortnight and will see local trees adorned with knitting and crocheting.
New this year is the exciting makeover of the Buncrana Mental Health Unit. Ruth said: “One of the projects we’re most excited about is our partnership with the HSE mental health unit in Buncrana. This is a way to acknowledge the great work of all the staff at the Mental Health Unit. Lukas Barber is heading up a small team of artists to do a bright, colourful makeover of the waiting area.”
Volunteers (especially anyone with experience in painting and decoration) are needed to help with the makeover and donations of paint, etc would be most appreciated. To offer your help simply email email@example.com, send us a message on Facebook, or call 087 795 5401.
Feel Good Song
Also new this year is the official Feel Good Fortnight song! Penned by local singer/songwriter Emmet Shinners, “Colour Me Blue” is a catchy tune written especially for FGF.
Ruth said: “Emmet caught the Feel Good Fortnight spirit right from the start, bringing a smile to people’s faces through his performances at the Coffee Cup and other venues. This year he wrote a song specifically for Feel Good Fortnight, called ‘Don’t Colour Me Blue’. It’s a lovely feel good song to get everyone in the mood. We have a link to it on our Facebook page and website, and we’re hoping people will share it and spread that feel good feeling.”
Listen to it here: https://audioboo.fm/boos/2243423-don-t-colour-me-blue?utm_campaign=detailpage&utm_content=retweet&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook