The long running and much loved Birr Vintage Week launched a new look 2019 programme, packed with all usual favourites and some new exciting additions for its 51st annual festival, which runs from August 2 to August 10 next.
Unveiled at Townsend House, Birr on Sunday last, a great crowd basked in the glorious evening sunshine as sponsors, patrons and supporters of Birr Vintage Week gathered to celebrate the launch of the action packed 2019 programme.
Speaking at the event, co-chairs Cailin Keaveny and Danielle Rock Kealy welcomed everyone and thanked them for coming along to the launch of the 51st Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival 2019.
Introducing herself, Danielle explained that along with Cailin they were the new co-chairs of the 2019 festival and both have been involved with the Birr Vintage festival committee for several years.
Thanking the “very important” sponsors and patrons, Danielle said without this support there would be no vintage week. “With your continued support, we really do thank each and every one of you for supporting each year,” she enthused before extending a thank you to the event's hosts, Townsend House.
Danielle then pointed out the new programme and asked people what they thought of it, which received a round of applause. The co-chair explained for the 2019 event they changed it slightly. “Being the 51st year, coming away from the 50th anniversary, is quite difficult and daunting. Because we have done fifty incredible years and last year was absolutely incredible, this year, we have toned it down a little bit with all of our favourites still here and we have re-vamped it.”
The 2019 programme was the work of the festival's Arts Co-ordinator, Caroline Conway and she put “so much work and effort” into the programme. “This year, Caroline really wanted to change things up and give the programme a new look. So, I think she has nailed it. Well done to Caroline.”
Caroline is also part of the team that brought the Luminaries last year and this year, Caroline came up with the new addition of the Window Wanderland, which the committee is “really excited about”. “It's about a co-operation with the community and it's going to transform the evenings of Birr Vintage Week this year. If you live on a street in Birr, and have a window, get registering. We have workshops going on next week to design the windows. We want rows of windows to come alive. So, if you haven't registered please do so.”
Danielle then pointed out the retirement of a lot of long standing festival committee members including Cyril Stanley, Janine Wilson, Michelle de Forge, Orla Watkins, Ger Nolan, Brendan Fogarty, Susan Molloy and D.J. Wilson.
“All of these people have done a fantastic job over the years and we would like to thank them for their help and continued support. They deserve a well earned break at this stage.”
Concluding, Danielle noted that Birr Vintage Week is a community run event. “We really do need people from a manpower point of view. I know we say this every year but we really do especially on the Saturday and Sunday. Please contact us through Facebook, email or on the festival phone number.”
“The question this year we have been asking everyone is, what your vintage? Enjoy your evening and enjoy your festival because this is a community festival and it's all about the town of Birr,” Danielle concluded.