All roads lead to Tipperary for the International Miss Macra Festival 2018

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All roads lead to Tipperary for the International Miss Macra Festival 2018

Veronica Wheatley, Jenny Whelan, Laurie Curtis, Trisha Delahunty, Sharon Melbourne, Áine Ryan, Gráinne Harrington, Eibhlin Ryan, Hannah Driver, Joanne Lawlor, Sarah Kelly, Joan Pollard Carew

The official launch of the International Miss Macra festival 2018 took place last Friday in the Anner Hotel.
Twenty-four young women, representing 20 counties, are travelling to Tipperary in the hope of following in the footsteps of last year’s winner, Miss Lynsay Hawkes (Tyrone) in being crowned International Miss Macra 2018.
This year welcomes the continued support of The Anner Hotel, Conference and Leisure Centre, as the primary location for this year’s private festival. With its private grounds and manicured gardens, it will be a perfect location. The Anner is a great support of Macra and can be credited with facilitating the festival’s return to Thurles three years ago.
Judges
Our 3-person judging panel will be comprised of Joan Pollard Carew and Declan Ryan. Due to the importance of having judges who know both the festival and what it takes to be International Miss Macra, this year the third judge will be festival veteran Sinéad Guiney (International Miss Macra 2016).
Joan Pollard Carew is representing the main sponsor of the festival ‘Michael Carew Jewellers, Thurles’. Herself a published poet, Joan is well known nationally in Irish Art and Irish Dancing circles. Joan and her husband also contribute greatly to the festival in terms of invaluable support, time and advice. Having held every position on the International Miss Macra Festival Committee over his tenure with Clonoulty-Rossmore Macra, Declan Ryan is well qualified for his continued role as one of our judges. Sinéad completes the judging committee and is very familiar with the festival; in 2016 she came as a contestant where she as crowned International Miss Macra 2016, last year she returned as the reigning Miss Macra to offer invaluable support and advice to the contestants and now in 2018 she will again return, this time as a judge.

Friday, August 3rd – Charity Night in aid of South Tipperary Hospice
On Friday afternoon, contestants will get the opportunity to have a tour of Coolmore Stud Farm, which will be followed by lunch in Fahy’s restaurant, Cashel. On their return to Clonoulty, contestnats will take part in an ice-breaking class in Clonoulty Community Hall followed by a ‘meet and greet’ with their host families.
Last year’s committee made the decision to move the Friday night of the festival back to the parish of Clonoulty-Rossmore, donating all door proceeds to the year's chosen charity. Therefore, the festivals ‘Charity Night’ will again take place in Coffey’s of Stouke. All door proceeds (in addition to a portion of the proceeds from this year’s Miss Macra Annual Tractor Run) will be donated to South Tipperary Hospice Movement. All support on 3rd of August would be most appreciated for this invaluable cause.
Saturday, August 4th – Cabaret Interviews
Saturday is the most nerve-wrecking day for the contestants. They must rise early for their private interviews in front of the judging panel, followed by interview with the cabaret MC. The judges will use the interview performances to help them in their task to select the contestant to be crowned “International Miss Macra 2018”.
On Saturday night, the contestants, their supporters and all interested will descend on ‘The Dome’, Semple Stadium where the Cabaret will be held. All the contestants will be interviewed on ‘The Dome’ stage in twos by our interviewer from Spin South-West, Valerie Wheeler. The interviews will be followed by live music from ‘The Waxies’.
Sunday, August 5th – Gala Banquet
On Sunday morning, the contestants attend Mass in Clonoulty Parish Church. Mass is followed by a ‘Sports Day’ in the Clonoulty G.A.A grounds. The contestants will be divided into teams and will compete in country-inspired activities including things such as milking a cow, stacking turf and football. All of this activity will build up appetites and so, weather permitting, a barbecue will be cooked by local butcher Joe Hammersley.
The International Miss Macra Gala Banquet on Sunday night is highlight of the festival. All the contestants and their escorts attend a champagne reception before having their official photographs taken. A delicious five-course meal will then be served to the contestants, their escorts, the host-families, and various supporters in the Anner ballroom. The meal will be followed by live music by “Silver Dollar” and dancing. At midnight, silence will descend on the Anner ballroom in anticipation of the announcing runner-up (FBD Insurance) and second runner-up (Tipperary Co-Op) and crowning International Miss Macra 2018 (Anner Hotel). As the festival draws to a close, the entire ballroom will dance the night away well into the early hours of Monday morning.

For ticket and other information on what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable weekend, find us on Facebook (Miss Macra Festival) or head to our website (www.missmacra.com), or you can contact Edel Ryan (Festival Chairperson), on Mobile 087-7546972 or email missmacra@gmail.com.
So don’t delay, book your tickets and head to Thurles, Co. Tipperary this August Bank Holiday weekend.