Village on red alert for ginger get-together

Up to 2,000 redheads are expected to descend on the Co Cork village of Crosshaven this weekend for the Irish Redhead Convention.

Village on red alert for ginger get-together

Carrot-tossing, a gingerbread man bake-off, and a best-dressed redhead competition are among the events taking place as part of the festival, to raise funds for the Irish Cancer Society.

Organiser and redhead Joleen Cronin, who described the event as a “celebration of all things to do with having fabulous red hair,” said there was already a great atmosphere in the village and that everyone was looking forward to the festival.

“It’s exciting. People are starting to arrive. It’s kind of like Christmas,” said Joleen, who added that they had visitors coming from the US, the Netherlands and Italy, as well as from all over Ireland, for the convention.

Redheads attending the festival will be issued with an Official Redhead Certificate of Genuine Foxiness at a REDgistration stand before joining in the fun.

Among the events over the course of the convention are a “big red soap box” for impromptu redhead speeches, a seminar on ginger genetics and a ginger chef cook-off.

Film fans will be able to attend the global premiere of American filmmaker Scott Harris’ movie, Being Ginger. There will also be lots of family events, including the “best red beard,” the ‘longest red hair’ and the ‘largest redhead family’ competitions.

Meanwhile, those unlucky enough not to be redheads will have the opportunity of dying their hair red.

The highlight of the festival, the crowning of the King and Queen of the Redheads, takes place today, followed by a redhead parade.

“Competitors have to convince the judging panel as to why they are worthy of the titles. They are ambassadors for redheads for the year,” said Joleen.

Outgoing Queen of the Redheads, Máirín–Rua Ní Aodha, said she had really enjoyed her time as queen.

“I’ve had an absolute blast. I appeared on a US travel show, I had a custom -designed cloak and crown made for me and I’ve met some fabulous people… driven, fantastic redheads,” she said.

Máirín–Rua said that although she had to hand over the crown, she hoped that this year she would win gold in the carrot-throwing championships.

Alan Hayes from Palmerstown, Dublin is the outgoing King of the Redheads.

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