Clon’s on song as agri-college marks centenary

A CORK town kicked off a weekend of music last night ahead of separate events to mark its agricultural college’s centenary.

Clonakilty Vintners’ Association is sponsoring the music festival which will feature a free open-air concert tomorrow night with The Walls. It will act as a prelude for the town’s first international guitar festival next month.

Later today, Clonakilty Agricultural College will celebrate its centenary with West Cork LEADER’s annual food fair, displays of old time threshing, vintage cars and machinery, and an ecumenical service in Darrara Church at 5pm. It will be followed by a dinner dance at the college.

Meanwhile, local vintners’ chairman, Kevin O’Regan, said the town’s summer carnival, which kicked off last night, will include a wide range of music from salsa to African and rock ‘n’ roll.

Side events include ‘Cow Bingo’ where a local heifer will be asked to make a ‘deposit’ in one of 100 squares, which will yield a cash winner.

There will be a raffle tomorrow evening for two All-Ireland final tickets.

“We will also have a fancy dress parade and the road train will be going around the town. The highlight will be tomorrow’s family day with face-painting, bouncy castles etc,” Mr O’Regan said.

The three-day Clonakilty International Guitar Festival hopes to establish itself as one of Ireland’s most important guitar events when it kicks off on September 23.

Top acts lined up include England’s Roy Harper and Matt Churchill, Stephen Housden from Australia and Ireland’s Luka Bloom and Steve Belton.

Local and internationally recognised guitarist Bill Shanley has been crucial in helping to set up the festival, which is being organised by a committee chaired by Denis Noonan.

Meanwhile, Cork’s Lord Mayor, Deirdre Clune, will officially open the Inniscarra threshing festival in Ballyanley tomorrow on land once farmed by her ancestors.

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