The town’s annual Muckno Mania Festival commences today 9th – 12th July and now in its seventeenth year promises another packed programme of events which promote family entertainment, fun, music and sport.
The Festival which was deemed best Festival in Ireland by Today FM in 2014 has this year adopted the theme of “The Year of the Puppet”, in an attempt to create some added buzz and quirkiness to the 2015 programme. The puppet theme runs throughout the entire weekend and will commence with a spectacular Large Puppet Parade on Friday night 10th July, which will see a mass of large puppets and carnival floats descend on to the Main Street adding colour and intrigue.
Special thematic Puppet Competitions will also be held to coincide with the Festival and include competitions for both the retail and the residential sectors. While various artists have been invited to stage Puppet Shows over the weekend. Further excitement has been created by involvement of local business groups and individuals who have undertaken the task of making their large puppets which will be part of the weekend.
Today’s Local has teamed up with Coleman Tractor Motors to ensure the return of the popular Fireworks Display on Friday night. On Saturday morning local Logistic and Coldstore Company Castlecool provide the main sponsorship for the competitive Sprint Triathlon event which involves a 750m swim, 18km cycle and a 5km run through Lough Muckno. Festival favourites such as the Shane Tyre Float Your Soap Competition and the Sport’s Day hosted by Castleblayney Faughs remain on the list of events for Saturday.
Saturday night will yet again conclude with the McManon SuperValu supported Music Mania event which sees eight teams with their singers battle it out for this coveted title. The teams include:- Team Castleblayney Show, Team Muckno Mania, Team McGuire, Team Boy’s School, Team J.P. II, Team Fusion, Team Muckno Movers and Team Muckno Singers. The event commences at 8pm in the Glencarn Hotel.
Nine girls have also announced at this stage their interest in succeeding Demi Moen as the reigning Festival Queen. The competition sponsored by the Glencarn Hotel will also provide the venue on Saturday night for the new crowning. This event however commences on Thursday night with a Come Dine with our Queens event and this year’s Queen competitors include:- Laura Harte (Tir na nOg), Caoimhe Ward (Tavey’s Menswear), Roisin Finnegan (Sean’s Bar), Emma McKenna (Spectrum), Aoife Connolly (Old Coach Inn), Jennifer Murphy (Blackhill GFC), Gena Lowry (Faughs), Amy Meegan, (Kiva’s), and Zana Lowry (SuperValu).
Wilbert the Festival Mascot has joined forces with local firm Golden Irish to host another Whimsical Party at Mindszenty Park on the Friday afternoon. Special Festival Workshops, the Muckno Lakers Basketball Competition, a Teddy Bears Picnic and Busking on the Street are welcomed repeats on the Festival Programme. New to the weekend is an exciting Pop up Cinema which brings films back to town for young children and teenagers, which commence on Thursday 9th July and conclude on Saturday night.
Sundays Programme which features an afternoon of fun at Lough Muckno has been greatly boosted by the intervention of Gaffey Motor Factors who have invited Trialstar, a trials stunt team to perform on the grounds. This event along with the Blayney’s Got Talent and Tractor Pull Competition will certainly appeal to both young and old. The Programme will also this year host the County’s National Play Day on grounds of Lough Muckno. The funding for National Play Day comes from the Department of Children and youth Affairs which is distributed by Monaghan Sports Partnership on Behalf of Monaghan County Council.
The Sunday programme also sees the second year of Blayney’s Fittest Family which invites teams of 3 to test their fitness against others. Other attractions on Sunday include welly throwing, dog fancy dress, farm life and a vintage motor display. A real treat on Sunday too is the appearance of Marty Moen on Stage to perform his infectious song ‘Hit the Diff’. The Muckno Mania Festival organisers who comprise of young volunteers wish to acknowledge the support of all the festival sponsors who through their kind generosity have once more made the festival possible. The weekend support of Monaghan County Council, the Municipal District of Carrickmacross/ Castleblayney and Monaghan Hire is also greatly acknowledged at this time. The festival is also supported through a community tourism initiative for the Diaspora, this event is supported in partnership with Monaghan County Council, Fáilte Ireland and IPB Insurance.