Athenry Festival Goes On (1991)

Source : Connacht Tribune 1991

Tuesday 13th August

ATHENRY’S 1991 Festival Week kicked off on Tuesday 13th of this week with Athenry Soccer Club’s Annual Soccer Tournament semifinals. Also on Tuesday, an exhibition of paintings by local and Galway artists opened in the former ESB Office on Cross Street.

Wednesday  14th August

On Wednesday, there was a poetry reading by Galway poet, Rita Ann Higgins in the Old Abbey Hotel

Thursday 15th August

Today (Thursday), is the central day of the festival, August 15th or “Lady Day” as it has been known for many years. Pilgrims have been coming for almost a century to do the pilgrimage at Our Lady’s Well, about one mile outside the town. You will still see some of the older pilgrims walking round the well 15 times barefoot, taking a fistful of 15 pebbles before they begin and dropping one pebble each time a circuit is completed. Mass will be celebrated at the well at 3 p.m.

August 15th has always been a festive day in Athenry, and this year will be no different. The Macnas Street Parade featuring the Macnas Serpent and Drummers will surely drum up some \ excitement and atmosphere for the rest of the day. This will coincide with the annual Children’s Fancy Dress Parade organised as usual by the local guild of the I.C.A. The Best-dressed Lady award will be announced at 6pm; judging having been carried out throughout the afternoon.

Other Activities

 On Thursday 15th a performance by Little John Nee in the Square, a taxidermist display, a junior camogie match in Caheroyn Pitch, a tug-o’war, a children’s disco, face painting and dancing to live music in the Square at 8.30pm

On Friday 16th  a Children’s Treasure Hunt, a relay race, a car Treasure Hunt and a performance by the Guinness Jazz Band.

On Saturday 17th a Baby Show, a Dog Show, orienteering, a slow bicycle race, final of the Soccer Tournament, Irish Dancing and dancing to live music in the Square.

On Sunday 18th, the 750th Anniversary of the founding of the Dominican Priory of S.S. Peter and Paul in Athenry will be celebrated with Mass in the Priory at 3.30pm

All in all a very packed week of  festivities, with something for everyone.