Redheads come out to play at festival

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny declined an invitation to a red head convention in Crosshaven, Co Cork, over the weekend due to a prior commitment, but that didn’t stop 500 people with ginger locks from partying to raise funds for cancer research.

Joleen and Dennis Cronin, whose parents run Cronin’s pub in the town, held the first redhead convention last summer. Joleen said the event originated as a joke over a pint after the redheaded siblings decided to only invite their follically similar peers to a party.

The organisers said: “It was a joke where we were saying we would have a birthday party where we would only invite redheads. It just spiralled from there. It is a bit of light-hearted fun that raises funds for the Irish Cancer Society. About 1,000 people turned up this year — 500 were redheads. We had people from the midlands and Dublin turn up, and further away. First prize in the strawberry cupcake competition went to Rachel Neglia from Canada.”

Festival attendees with red locks received an official RedHead Certificate of Genuine Foxiness, a gingerbread man and a can of red lemonade. Ginger-locked revellers were also given a free ticket to local tourist attraction Fort Camden.

The events on Saturday were centred around Cronin’s Pub and Crosshaven Farmers Market. Food consumed on the day was washed down with the event’s official beer, the red-tinted Sunburnt Irish Red.

Some of the day’s activities included make-up and styling tips for redheads, orange lawn bowling, redhead group photographs, a red balloon race, redhead fast ‘n’ foxy dinner dating, and a freckles competitions. A special fringe festival was also held for non-redheads.

Julie Ahern from Carrigaline was crowned Queen of the Redheads and joked on Twitter that she “always knew she was royalty”.

King of the Redheads was won by Christopher Duncan from Ballyphe-hane in Cork, while Alan Hayes from Palmerstown in Dublin scooped the best red beard award.

The highest percentage of natural redheads in the world live in Scotland at 13%, with Ireland coming in close behind at 10%. According to some genetic scientists, redheads are becoming more and more rare and could become extinct in 100 years.

Meanwhile, revellers in Cork city over the weekend participated in the third annual Decades Festival. The festival saw punters hitting 35 pubs in the city in the style of various decades.

Pub and restaurant Electric adopted a ‘20s theme while venues such as An Bróg, the Old Oak and the Woodford were inspired by the ‘80s.

The Crane Lane and the Sextant went back to the ‘50s while even the “noughties” were celebrated with music from 2000 onwards at the Idle Hour and the Bodega in Cork.

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