Mayo Manchester Tradfest up for Irish tourism award
Tradfest has made it through to the final of the 2017 Irish Industry Tourism Awards. The six-day programme, which was held in Ballina, celebrates Irish music and dance from both Manchester and Mayo and has been entered into the Best Large Festival/ Event category.
It will face stiff competition from the cross-country Cannonball Ireland, Wicklow’s Bray Air Display/Bray Summerfest, the St Patrick’s celebrations in Dublin and Winterval in Waterford. Tony Hennigan, of Mayo Manchester Tourism and Business Group, expressed his pride at being selected for the final and explained how it was a true team effort which had got them so far.
“We are delighted to be flying the Green and Red flag for Mayo Manchester in this prestigious competition but we could not have done it without the support of the five hundred performers from Mayo and Manchester who were involved in our week long celebration of traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance in Mayo and the places we visited,” he said. “The competition is a great way of raising the profile of the festival and Mayo Tourism and it’s recognition of the great family friendly entertainment and cultural celebrations that take place in Mayo.”
The unique collaboration between Mayo and Manchester through an annual festival started off in 2013 after an invitation from the then Tourism Minister Michael Ring TD who asked the Mayo Manchester Tourism and Business Group to become Gathering Ambassadors as part of the hugely successful Gathering in Ireland Tourism initiative.
It won Tourism Ireland’s biggest ‘Gathering Event’ organised by anyone in the UK and it has continued to grow year on year. Last year the festival involved seven key locations in North Mayo including Attymass, Ballina, Ballycastle, Bonniconlon, Crossmolina, Kilkelly and Swinford.
Plans are already underway to expand it further with possible visits to Castlebar and Westport and 2017 promises to be another successful and exiting venture