Friday, 26th May 2017
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Michael Garland,

bizBoost Chair,

Waterford Business Group

There is much to look forward to, in the coming weeks and months!

This unseasonably warm, dry weather, does not alter the fact that we are still in Winter! Whilst you may well have the odd Daffodil and Crocus, poking their colourful heads above ground to say “Hello”, there is every chance that we will shortly return to colder weather. Not by all accounts, such cold weather that marks February 2017 as the coldest since records began, but colder weather all the same.

Not that I wish to be too grumpy an old man, as Spring will be with us very shortly and there is much to look forward to, in the City and wider afield.

The City Council, as previously written about, have given their support to nearly 80 festivals and events. This is in addition to some excellent initiatives, such as the one that has currently been encouraging people to visit our museums on Sundays for free, up to the end of February. If this has been successful, in terms of drawing the crowds, then it might well be considered worthwhile to run again, later in the year.

Our next big City event, is of course the 1848 Tricolour Celebration, which takes place over the weekend of 3rd to 5th March. The event culminates on Sunday 5th, with the now traditional Flag Raising Ceremony on The Mall. In attendance will be a significant military presence, with accompaniment from some of our very best local Waterford musicians. But, prior to this happening, there are plenty for other themed events to look forward to.

An exhibition on Thomas Francis Meagher in the Central Library, combined with an Irish Defence Forces recruitment day. A comprehensive schools’ educational programme, which will bring TF Meagher to quite literally thousands of school children, focusing on the true meaning of the Green, White and Orange colours of the Flag. A Gala Dinner taking place in The Granville Hotel on Saturday 4th, with a not insignificant representation of overseas guests to the City. Perhaps the “Main event” will take place early, on the afternoon of Saturday 4th. Nearly 100 re-enactors will participate, in probably, the largest period re-enactment, circa 1916, taking place in Ireland this year. During the 20 minute choreographed performance, there are sure to be many hundreds of blank rounds being fired!!!

Following rather rapidly on the back of the 1848 events, will be the City and County’s St. Patrick’s Day parades. The largest of these processions will snake its way through the streetscape of the City Centre and finish on The Mall. We will once again see all manner of clubs, social enterprises, commercial floats etc on display, on what I always remember, as being a rather cold day of the year. It is just such a pity that the crazy, nutty world of Health and Safety has prevented the “Madder floats” from swelling the conga line, due to incomprehensible third party public liability costs!

Guaranteed, our St. Patrick’s Day parade will take our minds off the soon to be FG leadership challenges. Which one assumes will happen, after all the Ministers have had one last jolly. A jolly to pastures green, monuments green, in fact everything green, in some far flung foreign land.

Once St. Patrick or St. Patty, as they call him in the US (why do our Yank cousins insist on calling him this I have no idea!), has gone to bed for another year, we can start to look forward to many of our tourists arriving in Waterford. They in turn can look forward to exploring and discovering Ireland’s Oldest City, The Greenway and Comeraghs.

From the end of March onwards, we can get stuck into a full programme of Festivals and Events. Then there will of course be your own favourites. I am looking forward to the likes of Spraoi, West Waterford Festival of Food, Harvest and of course my particular favourite The Sean Kelly 160km Tour of Pain, Suffering, Mental Torture, Agony.......and FUN!

So, if the political rumblings of a FG Leadership challenge send you to sleep, there are so many more events on the horizon to keep you awake in the coming year.

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