Offaly's Black Bull Threshing Festival to raise money for incredible reason

Justin Kelly


Justin Kelly


Preparations for this year’s Community Threshing Festival at The Black Bull, Sharavogue, Birr are well underway.

As always it promises to be a fantastic day out with attractions to suit all the family both young and old. Admission is €5 for adults and children go free.

Over the past 16 years the Threshing Festival has grown from strength to strength. The key to the survival of the festival has been the incredible commitment of individuals and groups in the community.

This year funds raised will go towards The Coolderry, Kilcolman, Aghancon CCTV Project in response to rising levels of rural crime. The festival also supports other local causes.

"We will have our usual attractions on the day including old time threshing, pony and trap rides, sheaf pitching, pillow fighting, traditional music and dance, auction and old time games. The ever-popular home produce and craft stalls are back where you can purchase some wonderful homemade goods," organisers said.

"As always, we will have our dog show with numerous 15 classes suitable for all types of dogs (costumes welcome!), entrants can register on the day at the dog ring from 1pm."

There will be a range of great value excellent catering onsite to suit all tastes including the traditional tea rooms, BBQ burgers, griddle bread, pancakes and old-style colcannon.

As always there will be a comprehensive vintage display of tractors, cars, trucks, stationery engines, farm tools and implements. There will be demonstrations of old time trades such as basket making and wood turning also. Anyone can bring items for the vintage display and must sign in and pay registration fee in the field before 12 noon on the day.

There will be prizes for best tractor, best classic car and best static exhibit. All registered entries will receive a specially commissioned bronze plaque and refreshments.

To start the year, organisers had a float in The Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival Parade, where they depicted an Irish Wake at The Black Bull in 1968.

"In preparation for the festival we had the cutting of the corn with both horse drawn and tractor drawn binders. The committee would like to thank the Dempsey family of The Leap who supply the corn each year without which the event wouldn’t be possible, thanks also to Jim O’Meara and family for the wonderfully restored binders and The Larkin Family, Eyrecourt for
the working horses," a spokesperson said.
The committee would like to thank all who continue to make the Threshing Festival a success each year, notably to their loyal sponsors, landowners the Malone and Hayden families and the volunteers who come out each year to play their part. And to those who come and support the festival in such vast numbers each year.
So why not join in at the Black Bull on Sunday, August 26 for a great day for all. Admission is just €5 for adults while kids go free. Free ample parking on site. For more information find the festival on Facebook.

Photographs - Rose Mannion 


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