The yarn bomb mobile was a highlight of previous years
Covid or no Covid, Newbridge’s June Fest will return this June for its 10th year of community celebrations.
According to June Fest chair, Colm Somers, ‘the committee has been working hard throughout the winter preparing a programme of events for June Fest 2021’.
Though the festival faced multiple challenges in 2020 due to the pandemic, the committee was determined to keep the celebrations alive.
They reimagined the festival in a new format and delivered it as a virtual experience over a longer time frame.
Much was learned in the process, particularly about presenting activities online.
This gave the festival a new lease of life coming into its 10th year.
Chairperson Colm explained: “Once June Fest went online, we quickly learned that the Newbridge community is global as well as local.
“To our surprise, we found Newbridge and Kildare people from around the world (Canada, Australia, UK, USA and across Europe) engaging with June Fest activities.
“In fact, our quiz was won a few times by Newbridge people living overseas.”
The quiz provided a bridge for them to connect with home – at a time when travel was ‘out of bounds’.
Plans are well advanced to deliver a safe and exciting series of events this summer that incorporate an outdoor theme together with an online element.
To avoid crowds gathering, June Fest is creating events the public can engage with, in their own time, while social distancing and observing travel guidelines.
The 2021 June Fest programme includes highlights such as a Yarn Bomb in Liffey Linear Park and a Treasure Hunt competition for all the family to take part in — while exploring the wonderful nature trails, amenities, and local history of the town and its environs has to offer.
There will also be guided audio tours on the history of Newbridge as well as an outdoor art trail with Kildare Art Collective and a showcase of local musical talent.
The online element of the Festival will provide a range of diverse activities that may be enjoyed indoors and will be of particular interest to those whose mobility is restricted at any time for any reason.
The June Fest team said they will use all online platforms to help raise community morale – whether you are out and about or at home.
Online projects planned include live music streams to support local musicians, a mini documentary series on the Grand Canal, the continuation of the highly-successful ‘History of Newbridge: Buildings, Businesses & Architecture’ project, virtual art exhibitions for local artists, writing competitions and the popular online quizzes.
June Fest will also be partnering with the Riverbank Arts Centre, Newbridge Library and Kildare Derby Festival to bring lots more exciting events.
The June Fest 2021 programme of events can be accessed through June Fest’s new website www.junefest.ie which will be launched along with a rebranding of the festival in late April.
Already, a new crisp June Fest logo has been created by festival director, Stephen Connelly — a Fine Art graduate from GMIT and Community Development & Leadership in NUI Maynooth.
Looking for volunteers
According to Colm, June Fest is currently looking to expand its team and would very much welcome hearing from people who would be interested in getting involved in any way with its activities. Just email (email@example.com) and the committee will get back to you.
“We are looking for enthusiastic and motivated individuals with fresh ideas who want to help keep June Fest vibrant and exciting for all in the community.
“Involvement with June Fest may be of particular interest to young people studying event management, art and design, community development, music, and music production or any of the creative arts, and those keen to establish careers in these or related fields.”