The weather wasn’t the only reason people were smiling in Tipperary over the weekend as the celebrations continued during the grand finale of the Tipperary Co-op It’s a long way to Tipperary Festival. Thousands of people came together over the last ten days to celebrate the bygone era of the early 1900s, dressed in vintage clothing to embrace this very special festival which was organised by Tipperary Festival Committee and local volunteers.
Visitors to the town were treated to a packed schedule of events where Tipperary town was transformed into a bygone era of the early 1900s with a festival packed full of nostalgia, music, art and heritage.
Highlights of the final weekend of the festival included a food and craft fair with local Tipperary produce from over fifty local food producers including Tipperary Co-op who promote and sell their products internationally to small artisan food producers.
On Saturday the grand finale of the All-Ireland Churn Race took place with teams participating from local sports clubs. After a very close race Shane Ryan from Lattin was crowned the National Churn Racing Champion and was presented with the trophy by Ted O’Connor (General Manager Tipperary Co-op). Runner up was Patrick Ryan from Bansha.
Ted said: “We genuinely thought the success of last year’s festival would be hard to beat, but thanks to the dedication of the organising committee, the scores of volunteers and, of course, the glorious weather we have enjoyed during the festival this year’s festival I believe will go down as one of the best on record. The festival is a way for us all to celebrate everything great about our region, our community and our enviable way of life, living in one of the most bountiful farming regions in Ireland. We in Tipperary Co-op are honoured to be playing our part in supporting the festival which gives everyone who loves Tipperary a good reason to come out and gather, as well as a great excuse for our many friends and relatives to visit during the celebrations”.
Following on from the National Churn Race, visitors were treated to an amazing Laser Light Display at Dusk which was preceded by the crowning ceremony of the Pride of Tipperary, where Donna Breen, representing William O’Brien Photography, was chosen to represent her county for the year. A surprise guest at the crowning ceremony was newly chosen Voice of Ireland Kelly Mongan, who performed some of her songs from the popular TV show.