Great crowds for Kildare town Derby Festival family day despite the rain

Opening ceremony

Paula Campbell

Reporter:

Paula Campbell

Email:

paula@leinsterleader.ie

Great crowds for Kildare town Derby Festival family day despite the rain

Members of the local Vicky Barry's Dance school

Not even the heavy rain on Sunday could deter the crowds from the opening ceremony of this year's Kildare Derby Festival in Kildare town with two performances from Circus Gerbola in Market Square. 

"We had two sell out shows in advance and when we saw that the weather wasn't good we were concerned our numbers would be majorly affected however I am happy to report almost 90% turnout for both shows," said festival committee member and event organiser Tara Flanagan  

"So with ponchos in tow attendees were treated to a fantastic opening and closing performances from local stage schools; Vicky Barry Performing Arts, Croi Academy of Irish Dance and Leah Moran's Stage School.  Even without the big top, the audience got a real sense of the circus experience with acts including clowns, disappearing acts, audience participation and of course the stunning and jaw dropping aerial performances. Each entertaining show lasted 55 minutes and Circus Gerbola continued to keep the audience engaged despite the weather. After all the show must go on! And that it certainly did. A fantastic start to this years Kildare Derby Festival and the forecast for the rest of the week looks good." 

Meanwhile on Sunday morning over 40 people participated in the first Curragh Community Ramble, a symbolic walk marking the end of June Fest and the start of the Kildare Derby Festival.

Starting at Kildare Town Heritage Centre the walk highlighted to attendees the physical racing structures and history of the Curragh along with its association with racing before a coffee break at RACE; Race Academy Centre of Education, Ireland’s academy for the horse racing industry and international Jockey Training. 

Ramble attendees learnt more about the racing industry through the eyes of a jockey and see the horse simulators used in training before ending the walk in Kildare Town. 

And this year's Kildare Derby Rose Winner 2019, Theresa Sweeney, was also chosen at the weekend. See this week's Leader for more. 

SEE ALSO:The inextricable Derby bonds