Munster rugby captain and Adare Golf Club member Paul O’Connell teamed up with six-year-old Craig Gleeson at the weekend to launch the Adare Festival.
The four-day event will run in conjunction with the Irish Open at the Manor course from May 17-20.
Irish international O’Connell is one of the many star names who will be taking part in the pro-am on May 16, while schoolboy Craig is currently starring in billboards promoting the event.
The Adare Festival will tee off before the golf tournament on May 14.
Anita Higgins, manager of Adare Manor Hotel, said: “Local people and businesses are coming together to play host to players, media and tens of thousands of golf fans.”
Highlights will include a charity performance by the Garda Band, a courtesy train to and from the golf course every 20 minutes, the renowned French Market in the village park, traditional music and dance in the local pubs and village hall and the Pen Glee Club male choir from Pennsylvania, USA.
Festival co-ordinator Valerie O’Kelly said: “We are all extremely excited that the Irish Open is taking place in the grounds of Adare Manor and I must compliment Tom and Judy Kane for bringing such an event to our village. The staging of this global sporting event offers us a great opportunity to enhance the village’s reputation as premier tourist destination even further.”
She said the committee will be going all out to give a big Adare welcome to everyone by dressing the village streets from head to toe with flags and flowers.
Ms O’Kelly said: “With music, theatre and so much more planned, we plan to match the exciting oncourse atmosphere with a unique and lively off-course atmosphere of our own.”
Top players including Padraig Harrington, Paul McGinley, Darren Clarke, Michael Campbell and reigning champion Thomas Bjorn are among those competing.
Tickets are now available with an adult one-day ticket costing €25 while a four-day pass costs €75. Tickets for disabled citizens will be €15, while OAPs and juniors under the age of 16 will be entitled to free entry. The pro-am is free for all spectators.
For details of the Adare Festival or tickets/hospitality for the Irish Open, contact the Adare Manor on 061-605250 or Ticketmaster on 0818 719300.
Alternatively, visit the websites www.europeantourtickets.com, www.irishopen.ie or www.ticketmaster.ie.