The core objectives of Féile Carraig Arts & Culture are to boost community morale by promoting social inclusion, raising the profile of local artists and to boost the local economy through arts.
These were achieved through a wide range of events catering for all ages.
The festival began with a tea dance at the Mevagh Day Centre where locals gathered to dance and share stories of times gone by.
Over the weekend hundreds of people visited the Hay Hall where local artists displayed their finest work for the duration of the festival; such a variety of artistic talent was seen and highlighted just some of the hidden talent that lies within the parish of Mevagh.
With all workshops free of charge it was inevitable they would fill up quickly. Participants enjoyed creative writing, outdoor photography, Irish dancing, storytelling, a puppet show, drawing, toddlers, juniors and teen arts and trad school lessons including tin whistle, accordion and fiddle workshops at Teach John Mickey Bans, the Mevagh Family Resource Centre, the Parochial Hall, Doe Castle and the Bewglass Centre.
Workshops for both adults and children were held over Friday and Saturday and had a full attendance.
Emma Lou Kerr and Art Farms art workshops allowed children, toddlers and teenagers to explore their artistic skills, each leaving with their own piece of art for pride placing at home.
Martin Fleming’s outdoor photography workshop taught participants how to capture a perfect sunset overlooking Tramore Beach.
Wayne O’Connor’s Revolting Rhymes workshop brought Roald Dahl’s stories alive in a reimagined and suitably revolting way in the Bewglass Centre.
The Open Mic Night of music, song and poetry on Friday night in Logue’s Bar unveiled even more local talent and offered a platform for local and visiting performers to share their talent with a packed and enthusiastic audience.
It was hosted by John McNutt who kept the night flowing with music.
On Saturday morning a group of Ramblers braved the hills of Carrigart to enjoy a 8k walk and take in the stunning scenery.
Many continued their day at Doe Castle joining Geraldine Murray’s drawing day to capture the stunning view.
Afterwards The Trial of Ogma Family Treasure Hunt took place in Mulroy Estate where families explored the surroundings and hunted their treasure in the mystical, magical candlelit Mulroy Forest.
Marina Anderson, originally from Glen, also held a solo exhibition in the Olde Glen Bar for the duration of the festival and continues until Friday 29th August.
On Saturday afternoon children were delighted with the ‘Monsters & Things’ Puppet show by magician Jay Ryan who amazing his crowd with magic tricks!
Locals were also given the opportunity to learn or practice their tin whistle, fiddle or accordion playing skills in Teach John Mickey Bans at Trad School, a new event for the festival based on last year’s feedback.
Everyone proudly played their new skill for the crowds at the end of the workshop.
On Saturday and Sunday talented artists took to the streets of Carrigart with crafts stalls displaying and selling their fine craftsmanship’s to eager crowds who also enjoyed music sessions on the main street organised by Jasmine Carney.
Other musical highlights included Patsy Dan the King of Tory, DD and the Delta Boys, Stray and the Hot Tamales.
Music enthusiasts gathered from all over the world to hear the King of Tory and his guests in the Carrigart Hotel on Saturday night, a traditional session was enjoyed by all and Patsy was delighted to be back playing in Carrigart for the festival for the third year running.
On Sunday afternoon Eve McGettigan’s Irish dancing workshop saw groups of children learn to dance in just under two hours.
Another highlight of the festival was the Church Crawl led by Bruce Campbell around the Presbyterian Church, the Holy Trinity Anglican Church and then St John the Baptist Catholic Church in Carrigart.
Large crowds gathered to take advantage of the unique talk.
Afterwards a popular craft beer tasting workshop in Logue’s offered participants the chance to taste craft beers from around the world.
A family fun day in the Strand Park also took place on Sunday afternoon. Parents brought their children to enjoy bouncy castles, falconry, face painting and balloon modelling.
The strand park was the perfect location for such an event, overlooking the stunning surrounding views.
For the first time Féile Carraig Arts & Culture organised their own Sea Themed Carnival Parade.
Both locals and tourists participated in a colourful and creative display of all things ‘maritime’.
Children and adults dressed up in colourful costumes before taking to Carrigart Main Street to bring a spectacular close to Féile Carraig Arts & Culture 2014 in front of hundreds of people who lined the streets in awe.
The festival committee were overwhelmed once again with attendances at this year’s festival.
Awareness of the festival is continuing to grow year on year and they are already very excited for next year’s event!
Locals are beginning to take more interest in the festival and the committee would like to invite any feedback or people wishing to get involved to contact them either on Facebook or by calling 085 136 0837.
The festival has been described by locals as a unique one, which has inspired them to develop their creative and artistic skills.
The key to its growth is to keep the emphasis on ‘local’.
A raffle draw will take place in the coming days where locally donated prizes will go to several lucky winners who purchased raffle tickets over the weekend.
The festival committee have expressed their gratitude to everyone who participated, volunteered or donated to this year’s festival; they sincerely hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend in Carrigart and look forward to seeing you all again next year.