The Munster Hurling Final wasn’t the only celebration in Tipperary over the weekend, as the finale of The Tipperary Festival took place after a hugely successful 10 days of festivities, to celebrate 100 years of the iconic song “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.
Thousands of people young and old from the town and surrounding areas all gathered together in Tipperary town, with hundreds dressed in vintage clothing to mark the special occasion.
Visitors also felt a touch of nostalgia as festival organisers lined the Main Street, with Vintage Transport, veteran tractors and farm implements, vintage cars from as far back as 1902 and motor bikes from 1912 on display and driving around the town to give everyone a taste of what Ireland was really like at the beginning of the last century. The vintage donkey carts, milk churns and butter making, old wash boards and washing machines, local children playing traditional games like hopscotch all added to the sense of yesteryear. Dancing on the streets, with brush dancing and traditional Irish step dancing and impromptu waltzing all added to the party atmosphere.
Later in the evening, emotions ran high as hundreds of Musicians and Marching Bands lined the streets to perform one final recital of “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.
Festival Organiser and Tipperary Chamber President, Elaine Fitzpatrick said at the closing ceremony, “The Festival has created an electric atmosphere around the town, and the past year has shown how well we can all pull together to deliver this amazing event. Not only have local businesses come together to help make this event a huge success, but the community spirit has been extraordinary. I am over whelmed with the amount of people standing here today, in vintage dress and participating in the many unique events!”
Elaine went on to say “This event has shown how much can be achieved here in Tipperary Town and we need to follow this up next year, making it an annual celebration.”
Festival Sponsors, Tipperary Co-op, also helped carry on the celebrations by hosting a magnificent after party at their new SuperValu car park, where they provided wonderful live entertainment, music and a spectacular Fireworks display at the event.
Ted O’Connor, GM of Tipperary Co-op, the Festival Sponsor’s said “Tipperary Co-op is proud to be associated with this festival and our support is only recognition of the support the society has received from the community down through the years. In these difficult times, it is great to see the lift the festival has given to the town. I want to assure you that Tipp Co-op stands four square behind Tipperary Town and together we can make Tipp Town even better”
Some of the highlights that featured throughout the festival included Mary and Martin McAleese receiving the Peace Award, one hundred people of all ages joining with Tipperary Singers led by Betty Lynch, singing ‘It’s a long way to Tipperary’ at the Old Creamery building at Tipperary Co-op, the street Churn Racing, The Good Ole Days concert by Michael O’Donoghue at Tipperary Excel and the fantastic Food and Craft Fair which showcased the quality of local produce that Tipperary is famous for. A unique Threshing and Vintage Day at Tipperary Co-op Home and DIY store on O’Brien Street, Marching Bands and Pride of Tipperary Finale on Tipperary towns Main Street.
For further details and to see the many photos of events visit Tipperary Festival on facebook or www.tipperarytown.ie, or www.tipperary-coop.ie