A presentation was made to Newbridge Town Council on Tuesday February 14 from the Historical Society and the Chamber of Commerce to highlight the importance of the upcoming Newbridge 200 celebrations.
Plans for a ten-day harvest festival, which will take place in September to mark the 200th anniversary of the town, were discussed in detail as well as a little history behind the event.
Paul Cooke of Newbridge Historical Society presented the town councillors with a walk down memory lane thanks to a slide show of old photographs from Newbridge dating back to over 100 years ago.
“In 1812 the leases were signed and three plots of land were handed over to make way for the army barracks,” he said.
“Settlement in the area dates from the 13th century and the current town is made up of six ancient parishes and portions of others. The parishes are Ballymany, Great Connell, Killashee, Morristown Billar, Old Connell, and Carnalway.
“We plan to bring the slideshow to the schools with a homework project whereby the kids talk to their grannys and grandads about their memories of Newbridge.”
Councillors heard that the new logo for the bicentenary celebrations reflects the six parishes in six tear drops intertwined and all in different colours.
David O’Reilly, Chairperson of Newbridge Chamber said the main theme of the festival will be one of inclusion, civic pride, brand awareness, revenue for the town and fun.
“The people of Newbridge are behind us,” he said.
“Now we need to keep the momentum going. It’s our olympics and we can make something positive out of this. We want to get the logo out there on to shops and offices of the town. There has been a huge amount put into this already that hasn’t cost us one penny.
“Pfizer and Horse Racing Ireland are going to redo the roundabouts to incorporate the logo and we have brought the design to William Doyle of Newbridge Silverware. It would make a superb little brooch and might generate some money which will be put back into the town. The logo could also represent the river and the bridge, the Curragh and the roads on which Newbridge was built.”
Cllr Fiona O’Loughlin praised the ‘incredible energy’ involved in the process adding that Newbridge 200 has ‘tapped into the positive energy around, which was great to see.
Cllr Pat Black said he was ‘extremely impressed’ by the amount of volunteers and community involvement involved while Cllr Paddy Kennedy and Mick Deely said it is very exciting for the town.
Cllr Spike Nolan asked about the web site and was told that an interactive website for the festival will soon go live.
www.newbridge200.ie and will list all the events in the run up to the ten day festival to take place from 7 to 17 September.