A record 6,000 people came to Mallow Castle to enjoy the family entertainment; live music, food and craft fair, amusements, family fun cycle and band parade during this year’s Racing Home for Easter Festival, while attendance at Cork Racecourse Mallow for the festival weekend was up over 30%.
It all kicked off with the hilarious Chancey Brothers, who led the people of Mallow on a merry comedy dance through the streets from the colourful set of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party in Market Square to the Castle grounds on Saturday morning. Accompanied by the unanimous hit of the weekend – the Gardaí on horseback – there was some confusion caused when they came to the attention of members of An Garda Siochána locally – with shouts of “impostors”, coming from the comedy performers!
The Country Lifestyle Pet Show proved just how much people really love their pets, while the live music stage was populated by groups from Mallow Arts Collective Musical Showcase. When they weren’t taking a turn on the hugely popular amusements, including wipe out; the surf simulator or the Castle Choo Choo train, the crowds were being entertained throughout the afternoon by stilt walkers and fire breathers.
Over 3,000 people attended the Food and Craft Fair on Easter Sunday morning, where they feasted on waffles, wood fired pizzas, hot dogs, spicy Indian foods, homemade jams, preserves and freshly made potato crisps, while admiring fairy doors, silver jewellery, artisan soaps, handmade knits, the children embarked on an Easter Egg Hunt and all to the melodious backing of the Cork Light Orchestra.
25 year old Michelle O’Sullivan from Dripsey beat the stiff competition on Most Stylish Sunday at Cork Racecourse Mallow in her monochrome with a pop of pink outfit, which caught the eye of celebrity judge Jessica O’Gara. Michelle, who works in AIB Ballincollig, and her boyfriend, will be jetting off to Boston courtesy of Cork Airport’s new Norwegian route to Boston Providence; with pre-flight accommodation and dinner in the Cork International Hotel and free car parking for the duration of the trip; access to the private business lounge and a voucher for The Loop for duty free treats before they take off for 3 nights in luxury accommodation in the 4 star Lenox Hotel in Boston.
Meanwhile self-employed carpenter and father of four Trevor Moloney was deemed to be Most Stylish Gent on the day. He scooped a €500 voucher for Barry’s Menswear Mallow for his efforts.
Easter Monday saw 175 mums, dads and children take to their bikes from Mallow Castle on the 10km Family Fun Cycle hosted by PiCycles and the Revolution Cycling Club – before the Castle hosted a number of pipe bands from all over the county as part of the Cruinniú na Cásca celebrations organised by Cork County Council.
The investment by Cork County Council in the grounds of Mallow Castle over the past 12 months was deemed a huge success, with phase 2 due to get under way shortly, further cementing the Castle’s place as an important entertainment space in the heart of Mallow community life.
Record crowds also came through the gates of Cork Racecourse Mallow, according to Sales and Marketing Manager Mary Kelly. “The numbers for Most Stylish Sunday in particular were unbelievable – up 38% on last year’s figures,” said Mary. “It seemed that there was a never ending queue outside the course from 1pm. There is no doubt that word is continuing to spread about the variety of entertainment, sport and craic on offer over the 3 day festival and that is putting Mallow on the map and we are delighted to welcome the crowds that get bigger and bigger each and every Easter.”
See page 11 for photos from the weekend.