Rural heritage to come alive at this year’s Hollywood Fair festival

The eviction scene at last year's Hollywood Fair
Final preparations are underway for this year’s Hollywood Fair, which takes place from tomorrow, Wednesday 14 to next Sunday, 18 August.

Final preparations are underway for this year’s Hollywood Fair, which takes place from tomorrow, Wednesday 14 to next Sunday, 18 August.

The Hollywood Fair has been chosen as one of the three flagship events for the Year of the Gathering in county Wicklow. The pre-1950s rural heritage theme of the Fair has proven to be a big hit. Whether it’s nostalgia for the past or something else, people have been flocking to Hollywood in the last two years to be part of the celebration.

The event kicks off this year on Wednesday 14 August at 8pm in the Community Centre. Johnny Glennon will give a history talk on the GAA in Hollywood and CJ Darby will give a talk on ‘Ancient Mills in the Local Area’.

These talks will be followed by a play. The Ballymore Eustace Drama Society will present George Guing’s play ‘Better Late than Never’. The leading roles will be played by local actors Martin Byrne, Jimmy Pearse and George Guing himself. The play got rave reviews when it was put on earlier in the year in Ballymore.

Admission to the talks and play is E2 and there will be a cup of tea served.

The major event on Friday, 16 August, will be the Hollywood GAA Gathering that evening at the club grounds. This event is being organised to honour all its former club players and a special presentation will be made to those players who were part of the team which won the Wicklow Junior Football championship in 1973. A meal will be served at 8pm, and afterwards there will be musical entertainment. (Tickets for the meal part of the event will be on sale at E10.) As a curtain raiser to the celebration there will be a football match between two local teams at 6pm.

The highlight of the Fair on Saturday 17th August will undoubtedly be the Famine Eviction Scene. Last year upwards of 3,000 people turned up to view this dramatic spectacle and the feedback afterwards was unbelievable. A video recording of the event later became a minor hit onYouTube. Check out thehollywoodfair.com for more information.

Due to public demand it has been decided to stage the eviction scene again this year. There will however be novel features incorporated and some new actors involved, so the production this time will be quite different from last year’s.

The organisers wish to record our thanks to the Ballymore Eustace Drama Society and to the Hollywood locals who are responsible for this major event of the Fair.