We had a wonderful day at the Tubbercurry Old Fair Day on 14th August this year. We were delighted to host a Community Expo in St. Brigids Hall to co-incide with the fair. We were joined by a variety of Community & Voluntary Groups from around the County including – The Sligo Field Club, Special Olympics Connaught, Havin’ A Laugh, County Sligo Heritage & Genealogy Centre, Scouting Ireland, The Irish Heart Foundation, Sligo Leader Partnership, Sligo PPN, EDIC Sligo, Tubbercurry Day Care Centre, Sligo Community Mediation.
There was great engagement with visitors and locals alike. Storytime with Louise from Tubbercurry Community Library drew great crowds of children and was a chance for the parents and grandparents to browse the community stall and chat about getting involved in volunteering. We would have been lost without help from two local volunteers – Paul and Maria in the kitchen. They kept the kettle boiling and served tea to visitors to the hall.
Tubbercurry Old Fair Day is in its 34th year, and the sheer scale of the event, completely run by volunteers is a fine example of community volunteerism in action. A strong committee are involved in the planning of the event from year to year, and in the run up to the festival, volunteers are on hand to literally convert the town to a marketplace with vintage stalls, music stage, food stalls etc. Every job has a value from the volunteers in the festival office organising the traders, to the car park attendants to the street cleaners after everyone has gone home. It simply couldn’t happen without a strong community spirit and the willingness of volunteers. The event also relies on volunteers from the likes of the Civil Defence who provide emergency cover throughout. This year, Steve Rogers volunteered his photography expertise and was seen doing the rounds of the town, capturing the volunteers in action. Ourselves and the Old Fair Day Committee are delighted to have a record of the behind the scenes work that makes this festival possible and hope to use Steve’s work as part of a celebration of local volunteers in the future.