23 Jan 2022

People's Parade to be held during iconic Offaly festival

People's Parade to be held during iconic Offaly festival

Co-Chairs of Birr Vintage Week, Cailin Keaveny and Danielle Rock Kealy looking at the festival's 2019 brochure.

The Birr Vintage Week & Arts Festival committee is planning to hold a People's Parade during this year's festival.

Vintage Week 2021 is running from August 13 to 20 and the People's Parade will be held on Sunday August 15.

Because of the Covid restrictions a normal parade won't be possible but the committee want to hold something which will be a worthy substitute while at the same time adhering to the Covid rules.

“Vintage Week 2020 was a virtual event,” said Co-Chair Danielle Rock Kealy, “which was a successful week, given the difficult circumstances, but the committee feels strongly that this year we can't do another all Virtual event. We can't let another year pass without doing some real-world events.

“Therefore we have come up with the idea of a People's Parade. For this we are encouraging everyone to dress up and walk the streets of Birr, while at the same time remaining socially distanced.

“We are also asking people to please bring along their vintage vehicles and drive them around the town.

“We want to do our best to create something of a Vintage atmosphere despite the difficulties of the pandemic. We want to create a mood of hope and fun despite the negativity of the virus. We will also hold street theater on the same day as the People's Parade.

“I really can't emphasise enough how important it is for as many people as possible to dress up. We are really, strongly appealing to people to do that.

“We are also strongly appealing to businesses to decorate their window displays in vintage related items; and for shopkeepers to dress in vintage clothing. There will be prizes for the best shopkeeper's costume and for the best window display.” The Co-Chair said the very popular Car Treasure Hunt will be making a return; as will the Children's Treasure Hunt; Pavement Art; and the Busking Competition. Numbers for these events will be limited and people will have to register beforehand to be assured of a place.

“The times are uncertain, the challenge is great,” remarked Danielle, “but we are going to try and express the vintage spirit on our streets once more, in the hope that it will give people a much-needed emotional lift.”

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