t was all set to be the busiest Greystones day of the summer so far…
So, naturally, the morning began with a heavy slap of rain.
By early afternoon, there were promising outbreaks of near-sun, but it very possibly wasn’t going to be enough to change many people’s changed plans.
To find out how this not-so-fine Saturday was going to play out, we decided to take our freshly-rescued new Guide dog, Otto, for a circle stroll around the town, hitting theKenmare Fun Day, the Summer Songs festival in Burnaby Park, and the CPR demo down at the harbour (courtesy of Greystones Fire Station).
In the case of Kenmare’s annual happy hootenanny, it was all hands under shaky umbrellas when we swung by just after the 1pm kick-off, with the various stalls of homemade goodies – both edible and wearable – being set up on people’s driveways, within running distance of a dry hallway. And if the sun wasn’t shining, hey, it was clear these Kenmare kids are made of sterner stuff, as they partied on regardless.
Making our way down through Killincarrig andMill Lane, we could hear the distant bodhran of contemporary trad band Perfect Friction on the Summer Songs stage as we walked up St Vincent Road and around via Portland. This Saturday and Sunday, Burnaby Park is playing host to the likes of Kila, Scullion, Mobile Music Machine and Sonamus, although by the look of the skies today, you can’t help feel that swapping them all for The Waterboys would raise a few spirits – and chuckles – around here.
Especially given that the place looked to have a crowd of just 20 people. Perhaps it was just the rain.
Part of 5 outdoor gigs across the county boasting various line-ups, the Summer Songs festival is the result of a €143,000 government fund to help get Wicklow’s music industry back on its feet. Which makes it all the more confusing when we unearthed a would-be (and not-so-great) rock’n’roll swindle that saw the contract for stage and sound going to a Wexford outfit, via a Shankill event organiser, Diffusion. We’ve also had trouble finding the Expression Of Interest from Wicklow’s Arts Office, which would have given Wicklow sound and stage technicians a shot at applying for this Wicklow festival. That’s been put together primarily to help the Wicklow music industry.
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Straight on down to the harbour, and the boys in off-brown and red were just about wrapping up their CPR demos, after, it seems, a healthy turnout. Which means a healthier Greystones, as knowing how to give CPR, and how to use a defibrillator, could save a life.
On that front, plans to place 10 defibrillators along The Cliff Walk is a very welcome, and very smart, move.
So, one of those inbetween days, where good work was done down at the harbour, the Kenmare gang proved that no amount of rain can dampen their community spirit, and most Greystonians realised that, given the stage layout down at the Burnaby, sure, you can just picnic in the park and enjoy the festival for free. Noice.
You can find out more about Sunday’s Summer Songs line-up here, about that wayward festival funding here, and check out the full gallery of our mediocre rainy day pics right here.
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