Cheese festival swings back into town

A TOWN linked to one of our favourite cheeses was all smiles yesterday as its once-famous festival was revived after a 21-year absence.

YouTube sensation Crystal Swing will headline the Charleville Cheese Festival which takes place in the north Cork town later this month to help celebrate its 350th anniversary.

The festival was once the summer highlight for festival lovers throughout Cork and Munster. Now, backed by lead sponsor Charleville, the town has organised an exciting programme of family events from Friday May 27 to Sunday May 29 to mark the town’s historic milestone.

And the once hugely popular Charleville Cheese Queen competition, which was last won in 1970 by Mary Quain, will be one of the highlights.

Some 13 Rose of Tralee hopefuls from Charleville and the surrounding area will gather in the Charleville Park Hotel to compete for the prestigious crown and the chance to represent the town in the Cork Heat of this year’s Rose of Tralee.

The winner will also receive €500 in prize money.

Kerry Foods marketing manager, Jennifer Hall, said the firm is delighted to sponsor the event. “It looks like it’s going to be a wonderful weekend for all those associated with Charleville and we’d like to congratulate all involved for all the hard work they’ve put in to create such an exciting weekend programme of events and activities,” she said.

Charleville Cheese Festival president, Gerard Cott, said there is great excitement in the area.

“We are really proud of the way everyone has worked hard together to put an action-packed weekend of exciting events and activities in place that will provide a great showcase for the town,” he said.

The festival will begin with a parade of vintage cars and the introduction of the Charleville Cheese Queen contestants to festival-goers.

Crystal Swing will perform on the Sunday after the announcement of the Charleville Cheese Queen winner.

Recent runners up in the All-Ireland Talent Show, Mad for Road, will also perform live at the Family Fun Day on Sunday afternoon.

Other events include a Charleville’s Got Talent competition, a tag rugby competition, live music from local musicians, a senior hurling tournament, the Charleville Golf Classic, and a treasure hunt.

* charlevillecheesefestival.com


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