Kildare’s most celebrated footballer, Johnny Doyle has been lined up to launch the Derby Festival Kildare Farm Foods parade in Kildare town on Sunday June 22.
“We are delighted to have Johnny to launch the parade and we are asking all the kids and everyone to make a special effort to wear their Kildare jerseys. We have between 25 and 30 entries already and we hope to get up to 40,” explained committee chairman, Ollie Kearns.
The parade kicks off at 2pm from the football field. Plans for the 36th annual Kildare Derby Festival, which is run every year in conjunction with the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh, are well underway.
The programme is being printed and will be launched this Thursday June 5 at Kildare Farm Foods.
“We got a great boost with Kildare Farm Foods coming on board to sponsor a number of events this year including the parade, ” said Ollie.
Interest in this year’s Derby Festival Queen on Friday June 20, which is sponsored and held by Tigerlilies, has proved strong with only a limited number of spaces left.
There are prizes worth €1,000 on offer for the lucky winner as well as entry to the Kildare Rose competition.
“The plans are coming together. This year, we have a lot more entertainment on the street during the week including Hip Hop dancing and Irish dancing, because people felt it was a bit quiet on the square during the week,” added Ollie.
Entertainment for the week also includes arts and crafts exhibitions, a darts tournament and live street entertainment on June 28 and 29 featuring The Garth Brooks experience, Painless Windows and local bands.
Poetry reading with Mae Leonard takes place on Thursday June 26 in the library. The children’s art competition is being run in conjunction with the Curragh Racecourse, the schools and the Derby Festival Youth committee.
In previous years due to the recession, changes had to be made to the programme and it’s testiment to the hard work of the committee and the support of the commuity that the festival is still going strong.
The line up will run from June 20 to 29.
Events also include a youth information day at Kildare Town soccer club, exhibitions at Teach Dara, Dance extravaganza in the square, and pub theatre with the Silken Thomas Players to name but a few.
Further information from 087 2519065.
The Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby race will take place on Saturday June 28. The contest with €1.25m in total prize money will feature an eight race programme. This year marks the sixth year of Dubai Duty Free’s sponsorship of the festival. Boodles Jewellers will once again sponsor the Most Stylish Lady competition.