Suggestions that the Kildare Derby Festival build stronger links with the horse industry to coincide with next year’s 150th anniversary of the Derby were welcomed at its AGM.
The meeting, at Aras Bride, last Thursday March 27 heard the festival was in better shape financially than last year with a surplus of €2,475. €27,284 was taken in in 2013.
Committee chairman, Ollie Kearns pointed out that 50% of the income comes from the programme. He outlined plans for the 36th festival were underway but new ideas, committee members and volunteers were always welcome. He said changes had to be made in previous years due to the recession however, he stressed; “its a great festival for the community that is still part of the social fabric of Kildare.”
He thanked everyone who supports the event. He said fund raising had already begun with the Christmas fair in RACE and the recent soccer draw. Secretary, Mary Kavanagh explained the festival will run from June 20 to 29. She listed the main events as the Derby Festival Queen in Tigerlilies on June 20, the parade on June 22, a youth information day at Kildare Town soccer club, art and photo exhibitions at Teach Dara, Dance extravaganza in the square, and pub theatre with the Silken Thomas Players to name but a few. Tom McCutheon from Kildare Heritage Centre suggested the committee contact the National Stud and RACE to get them more involved. Ollie said they had been involved in previous years and he would have no problem meeting up. Evan Arkwright, Curragh Racecourse manager agreed it would be a good idea given the 150th anniversary of the Irish Derby in 2015. Sarah Shakespeare pledged Teach Dara’s support.