It’s that time of year again when Clonoulty Rossmore Macra na Feirme are delighted to announce details of this year’s International Miss Macra Festival, which will take place over the coming August Bank Holiday weekend, beginning from Thursday August 2nd to Monday August 6th.
The slide-show hereunder captures just a little of the action and enormous fun, generated over this four day event, which is now celebrating it’s 41st successive year as a rural County Tipperary festival.
After the very successful 40th anniversary of this prominent festival last year, this year sees a new revamp, with many firsts. Once again this year’s festival will see girls travelling from all over the country and beyond, gathering here to Co. Tipperary to compete for the honour of being crowned International Miss Macra 2012, with dreams of succeeding to the title previously held by last year’s very worthy winner Sarah-Louise Healy from Muskerry Macra Club in Cork.
The luxurious Dundrum House Hotel, described as an oasis in the Golden Vale & sets the perfect scene for those who seek relaxation and fun. The hotel which recently was winner of the Certificate of Excellence 2012, has once again been chosen as the prominent venue for this year’s festival.
The committee would like to send an enormous ‘Thank You,’ to all their sponsors, host families and local businesses who continue year after year to generously support the festival. Sponsors in particular to be thanked are Dundrum House Hotel, Michael’s Jewellers, Thurles, Tipperary Co-Op and Gleeson Concrete, to name but a few.
This year’s festival kicks off on Thursday the 2nd of August, when contestants will arrive into the heart of Clonoulty village. The community will host a welcoming session, where they will receive a ‘Taste of Tipperary’s’ finest food. A night of traditional dance and music will follow in Clonoulty Community Hall. Also here the contestants will be introduced to their host families, who will adopt them into the very heart of their private homes for the duration of the festival, thus providing a warm safe welcome to each contestant. It should be noted, that host families are a very important part of this community based festival and the committee are as always very grateful for their support, generosity and loyalty, year after year.
Friday is a very eventful day for the contestants as there is an emphasis on trying something new. So first event on Friday’ starts with a tour of the now world famous Coolmore stud, which boasts some of the best bred sire horses in the world. For any of the contestants who have an interest in horses this is a dream come true, to view at first hand this impressive and renowned Stud Farm.
Lunch then will be served later in the renouned “Lady Clementine Restaurant,” in Dundrum House Hotel. Here will be a chance for the girls to relax before their surprise activities, which will take place in the afternoon. Afterwards it’s time for the girls to get ready to glow, as Friday night sees a first for the festival with a ‘Glow in the dark Disco,’ which will take place in The Venue Nightclub in Dundrum with a DJ courtesy of Goldstar Entertainments.
Saturday morning heralds an intense day for the contestants, as they must rise early and prepare for their interviews with the judges. There are three judges who have been given the difficult task of selecting one girl from this year’s over twenty two selected contestants, all hoping to be crowned Miss Macra 2012. This year’s trustworthy judges are Joan Pollard Carew, of Michael’s Jewellers in Thurles, herself a published poet, a long time supporter of the festival and well known in Art and Irish dancing circles. She will be joined by Catriona Murphy, latter a writer and contributor with the Farming Independent and finally a man to be ‘blessed among women,’ Eamon Coleman who himself once served as Festival Chairperson and who has been involved with the festival for many years.
In the afternoon, the contestants will be treated to a Rally Taster Day, which will be presented by the Waterford Rally Committee. The Macra Rally is a very important event in the Macra calendar; it is the National Conference of Macra na Feirme, which also incorporates the Young Farmers Conference, as well as the national finals for a number of competitions.
Then once again as the evening draws, its back to Dundrum House Hotel, where the girls will be interviewed on stage by Mike Egan and where they also get a chance to display some of their varied talents. This year the interviews will take place in the festival marquee followed by live music from the band “No Recession,” with a DJ in The Venue Nightclub.
Sunday Morning starts with the contestants attending mass celebrated by Rev Fr.Egan in Clonoulty Parish Church. The choir supplying music & vocals for this ceremony are comprised of members of Clonoulty Rossmore Macra together with members of the local community.
Straight after Mass, the contestants take part in a fun ‘Blast from the Past Sports Day,’ in the Clonoulty G.A.A grounds. This event is a mixture between a Macra Field Day and a School Sports Day. Here the contestants will have to show their true sporting worth, by participating in many country inspired activities including milking cows and parallel parking with a ‘toy,’ tractor, latter just two of the more amusing fun but enjoyable spectator events. Appetites gained from these ‘gruelling event,’ will be satisfied later with a delicious Barbecue.
Sunday night is the high light of the festival as it draws to a close with the International Miss Macra Gala Banquet, in Dundrum House Hotel. To begin with all the contestants plus their escorts will be photographed prior to a Champagne Reception. Latter will be followed by a delicious five course Dinner, followed in turn by dancing and live music. This year the music will be provided by the band ‘Arkadia,’ until midnight.
At this enchanted hour, silence will descend on the Dundrum House Ballroom as anticipation reaches climax point, with the winner of this year’s International Miss Macra Festival 2012 being announced and crowned.
Once again this year’s festival has been planned exceptionally well and promises to be yet another action packed success and an event which will linger long in the memories of all who attend & take part.
If you require any further information about the weekend or if you have any queries don’t hesitate to call on any of the festivals committee members, in particular Ann Marie Wade, Festival Chairperson, Tel: 086 1900822; Ann Marie Lyng, Festival Secretary, Tel: 087 1339602 or Louise Shanahan, Festival Secretary, Tel: 086 1994517 or you can find all the latest info here on the Club Website. or why not find them on Facebook.