Irish Derby 2016: Rain can't dampen Festival spirits in Kildare town

Large turnout for Derby Parade despite Sunday downpour in Kildare town

Niamh O'Donoghue niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Reporter:

Niamh O'Donoghue niamh.odonoghue@leinsterleader.ie

Irish Derby 2016: Rain can't dampen Festival spirits in Kildare town

The newly crowned Kildare Derby Festival Queen, Ellie McFadden

The weather may have been horrendous last Sunday, but the mood at the Kildare Derby Festival parade lifted the spirits of all involved to the level of a sunburst.

“The weather was shocking but the show must go on and we had plenty of people taking part in the parade and a good crowd came out to support the event,” said Ollie Kearns, Festival chairman.

“Artastic and Vijaya were brilliant. We had the turf cutters float, they were great, and Lisa Rooney’s dancers braved the conditions, they were excellent.”

On Friday night, Ellie McFadden was crowned Derby Festival Queen 2016 at the Kildare House Hotel.

“It was a very successful night and congratulations to Ellie,” added Ollie.

The Thoroughbred Father’s Day Run and the Taste of Kildare also attracted a good crowd of dedicated runners and food enthusiasts.

A large number of events will continue throughout the week. “We would love to see everybody coming out to support the events and enjoying this year’s festival. We have top quality entertainment, especially at the open air concerts,” he said.

After the racing concludes at the Curragh, there will be open air concerts on Saturday 25 with Chapel Hill Gang and The Bootleg Beach Boys. On Sunday 26, the main act will be Johnny Cash Walk the Line Tribute accompanied by Cill Dara Wranglers Line Dancing. Elvis tribute act, Mick Walsh will take the stage at 7pm.

Don't forget to pick up this week's Leinster Leader for your free bumper 28-page Irish Derby supplement, with all you need to know about this weekend's festival on the Curragh