International Miss Macra 2008
As the Summer begins to creep by, it’s that time of the year once again, for ladies from every corner of the country and abroad to make the journey to the rural village of Clonoulty, located in the breathtaking Golden Vale, co.Tipperary for the 37th International Miss Macra Festival.
As usual the festival takes place from Thursday the 31st July to Monday 4th August. The festival committee are delighted to be holding the festival for the fourth year running in the beautiful surroundings of Dundrum House Hotel. This magnificent rural setting provides an idyllic backdrop for the festival, which is growing from strength to strength with each year. The festival is one of the biggest events in the Macra calendar and is eagerly awaited by the contestants, supporters, macra members and general public alike.
It promises to be a hectic weekend and the 3 adjudicators will have an extremely difficult task on their hands to select a winner from the very capable, warm and friendly group of contestants participating this year.
Our wonderful Limerick representative is Annmarie Keyes from Crecora and a member of the Shannonside Club. She is a vibrant and active lady who has helped her club grow from strength to strength. Indeed Annmarie fits her hectic macra life around her HSE job with ease and she can be spotted at every event around the county and across the country alike. Last year she was a proud supporter of Geraldine Quain who claimed second prize at the Miss Macra festival and no doubt the girls have being in touch, exchanging fashion ideas and other tips for the busy weekend. Annmarie competed in the All Ireland debating finals this year and no doubt will put this public speaking practise into good use for the on stage interview. Limerick Macra, her friends and family will be there supporting Annmarie and wishing her a glamorous and fun-filled weekend. There`s nothing quite like that festival feel when you`re setting the alarm for half seven to do the make up and put the hair in an upstyle for a novelty soccer match after a very late previous night.
The festival kicks off as usual on Thursday evening with the contestants meeting the organisers of the festival and their host families. After the formalities are out of the way the ceili dancing begins followed by light entertainment until the early hours. On Friday morning bright and early the contestants will be taken orienteering in Bishop’s Wood, Dundrum accompanied by the able young gentlemen of our club. After their adventures in the woods the girls will get the chance to visit the heritage town of Cashel and one of Irelands top tourist sites The Rock of Cashel. Friday night sees dancing to Midnite Run in ‘The Venue’, Dundrum House Hotel, followed by a disco.
Saturday morning sees the girls being put through their paces by the adjudicators in their interviews in the Multeen Room, Dundrum House Hotel. Saturday afternoon allows the girls some free time to take in the beauty of the local scenery and hone their talents before taking to the stage later in the night for the Cabaret. That evening the contestants will be the guests of honour at a special mass by Fr. Fogarty in Rossmore Church. That night at the cabaret the contestants will be called on stage in pairs and asked some questions about themselves and invited to perform a party piece. Once again everyone must locate their dancing shoes for a disco in the Venue, Dundrum House Hotel.
On Sunday morning, as the limbs begin to ache, the girls head to the Sports Day in Clonoulty G.A.A. field. Here the locals, host families, contestants and their supporters take part in a variety of novelty games and will enjoy a barbeque. Then the girls return back to the host families to prepare themselves for the highlight of the weekend, the Banquet and the Grand Finale of International Miss Macra 2008. At midnight Jenni Wilson (Miss Scotland), International Miss Macra 2007 will hand over her crown and the winner will be announced. This years contestants have a very difficult act to follow as Jenni has been an exemplary ambassador for the festival and all the commitee would like to thank her from the bottom of their hearts for her exceptional work and support.
The people with the tough task of choosing this years winner are Deridre Crowe of Dundrum House Hotel, local poet and businesswomen Joan Pollard Carew and the now legendary Declan Ryan a former member of Macra’s national executive and former chairman of the festival. The lucky winner of this prestigious title will receive a cheque for 1000euros, Tipperary Crystal and a Perpetual Trophy kindly sponsered by Dundrum House Hotel. Second and Third place will receive genorous prizes from sponsers Declan Blake and Tipperary Co-op respectively. All the contestants will also be presented with a beautiful memento from kind sponsers Michael’s Jewellers. Now as the weekend comes to a close it’s time for everyone to let their hair down as they dance to a ‘Cher and Meatloaf’ tribute band followed by a farewell disco into the wee hours.
It is sure to be yet another International Miss Macra festival to remember for all who make the Trip to Tipp for the August Bank Holiday weekend! The commitee of International Miss Macra looks forward to seeing you there and are ready to give you a taste of some true Tipperary hospitality and a weekend you will never forget!!! If you require any further details about the weekend or if you have any questions you can contact Mary Lyng festival secretary on 087 7861016 or Claire Ryan festival chairperson on 087 9819717.
There are limited places left on the trip to the Aran Islands happening the weekend of August 22nd to 24th. The cost is 70Euros and includes Bus and Ferry from Galway and 2 nights hostel accommodation. If you are interested in this great trip, contact Tom Quirke on 087 2449361.