Red alert — gingers from all over the world are flocking to Cork this weekend for their annual foxy festival in the hope of setting a world record.

Thousands of red-haired revellers are expected in the harbour town of Crosshaven to attend dozens of whacky events being staged as part of the seventh annual Irish Redhead Convention.

They hope to break the record for the world’s largest redhead céilí dance at 4.30pm today.

The not-for-profit fun family festival of ginger-loving madness is a celebration of the rarest hair colour in the world, and is also a vital fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society, raising over €30,000 down the years.

It has grown in popularity with organisers expecting a record attendance of more than 2,500 redheads, their friends, and family right across the weekend.

There’s a packed schedule of events, with one of the highlights expected to be the Red Shearin’ event as ginger farmer Michael O’Sullivan and West Cork sheep farmer PJ Lynch stage a sheep shearing demonstration.

Macra na Feirme member Michael O’Sullivan will host a sheep shearing demo at the Irish Redhead Convention.
Macra na Feirme member Michael O’Sullivan will host a sheep shearing demo at the Irish Redhead Convention.

Author Jacky Colliss Harvey will present two talks based on the research she did for her book, Red: A History of the Redhead, the first book to explore the history of red hair and redheadedness throughout the world.

Her talks, entitled The Irish Redhead, will look at the most influential Irish redheads in history and explore red hair throughout the ages, including science, religion, politics, feminism and sexuality, literature, and art.

Musical entertainment will be provided by redhead stars including Orla Gartland, Sillk, and Miles Graham, on the Foxygen and ElectRED Picnic stages, and there will be a Ginger Jig.

There’s a full programme of children’s activities in the dedicated KidsZone, including mandarin and spoon races, and a carrot tossing championships.

Rhia Reddy from Balbriggin, Co Dublin, enjoys herself at the Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork.
Rhia Reddy from Balbriggin, Co Dublin, enjoys herself at the Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork.

Other events will include the annual redhead parade, the best ginger couple, and the ever-popular ginger speed-dating, and of course the crowning of the king and queen of the redheads.

Several local businesses are also running a ginger discount scheme to celebrate the festival.

Festival founder and organiser Joleen Cronin said: “The festivities take place in the heart of our beautiful seaside village in Cork Harbour and a weekend of freckly family fun is guaranteed.”

  • Full details of the Fáilte Ireland-supported festival, as well as tickets, are at redheadconvention.com.


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