As part of Cróí na Nollag Festival, Main Street was a hive of artistic activity on Saturday. The newly revamped street was looking its best, with access to pedestrians only and shoppers came in their droves to see the entertainment and to avail of the offers in the shops. CRC broadcast live from Hynes Shoe Shop for the afternoon.
Well done to all the artists, musicians, street entertainers who gave their time voluntarily to ensure that shoppers and the town of Castlebar enjoyed the day. Crimlin Community Arts Group opened the day playing music up and down the Main Street; Mayo Arts Squad played the eukalalias and organised for a Giant Santy Claus to visit and meet with all the children throughout the afternoon; Simon from Democratic Republic of the Congo entertained shoppers in his traditional dress with his music and dance routine, many shoppers joining in, dancing on the street; Stephen Guthrie, the town Crier, rang his bell; the Karen Community Youth Group sang Christmas songs in their native language.
The first busking festival in Castlebar took place and well done to all the musicians who braved the cold weather providing musical entertainment for everyone including wonderful displays of sean nós dancing, brush and barrel dancing by the Joyce and Sweeney family. The standard of music, singing and entertainment in the busking competition was outstanding and congratulations to The Binnogues: Kate Heneghan, Vicki Davis, Fintan Murphy, Pat Boyle and Caoimhe Kilkenny, the overall competition winners. In joint second place was Thomas Coll/Niall Fahey and the group An Cúigear Cairdiúil: Deirdre & Catherine Joyce, Sinead, Conor & Sean Sweeney.
Thérèse Ruane, busking festival organiser, said:
"The busking festival was a real success. I'd really like to compliment all the musicians for braving the elements, coming out onto the Main Street and providing musical entertainment for shoppers and the people of the town. Thanks also to the competition judges. The standard was really high and we look forward to building on the success of this, the first busking festival in Castlebar. I think the next one will take place in the summer when the weather is more amenable!"
"A special thanks to all the street entertainers, Arts groups who gave their time voluntarily to be part of this Christmas Festival. It was very obvious that the people of Castlebar really enjoyed the day and the entertainment. We look forward to building on this in the future. The feedback has been great and shows that the pedestrianisation of Main Street from time to time with on-street entertainment is the way to go, providing a sociable, appealing ambience, and bringing great life back into the centre of town..... Lá den scoth ... Tús maith leath na hoibre!!! "