ALL EYES are beginning to turn their attention to the Finn Valley this weekend with the return of the keenly awaited Rose of the Finn Festival.
The big event which was hugely popular back in the eighties during the Crossroads Gala Weekend is about to happen again.
A local committee has been very busy over the last few months planning and more recently finalising plans for the local Festival weekend, which this year will commence on 1st August 2014 and run through to the Sunday night.
This event is one of the many events presently taking place as part of the Border Villages Social Integration Project supported by the EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by Donegal County Council.
This project aims to facilitate greater social integration in border towns & villages in Donegal so as to promote greater cohesion between the ‘new’ residents and the local communities.
Although the busy committee have organised a schedule of very entertaining events over the weekend, no doubt the main highlight will be the Rose of the Finn and one which is expected to attract a huge crowd and large publicity on Saturday, August 2.
The first ever Rose of the Finn contest took place in 1981 and was run alongside the then Festival Gala Weekend.
The idea of organising the festival has been mooted for a few years now. However, following the very successful 2013 Gathering, organised by local committees throughout Ireland, the idea has now become a reality again.
The Festival this time round will be based at the NewCamp Sports Complex, at Killygordon, although it is hoped to take in both Villages of Crossroads and Killygordon over the weekend.
The Rose of the Finn contest itself will see twenty girls participate with McElhinney Stores as before the lead sponsors of this year’s event.
The festival kicks off on Friday with a long-awaited event in the form of Reeling in the Years which will re-run the earlier years of the Gala commencing 8.30pm.
Saturday kicks off at 2pm with family entertainment and a fun-filled programme of events to suit children of all ages.
Sunday starts off at 11am with a 5K run and walk, followed by another fun-packed programme of events to suit children of all ages including a Bouncy Castle Extravaganza; the Bonny Baby Show; Mini Rose of the Finn; Children’s Fancy Dress Disco; and Glamorous Granny competition.
A festival is not a festival without a parade and the Vintage and Novelty Parade starts from the NewCamp Gym at 3pm travelling through Crossroads and back again.
The Wednesday Club on Sunday takes place at 6pm with a special Social Dancing evening continuing from 8pm with Knoxville and friends, all welcome. 10pm sees the start of the 70, 80 and 90’s Disco.
Other events over the weekend include Stalls; Face Painting; Balloon Modelling; and live outdoor music. There are many other novelty events and a bar will be available on the night.
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