Friday, October 31 will see children, parents, performers and the local community begin to gather from 3.30pm in the town park near the new play park, in time for the spectacular Halloween parade, which starts at 4pm. Dancing, storytelling and other performances will take place at the short quay from 5-7pm. This year, Monsieur Gusto from Passépartout will return to walk tall in the parade, leading the newly created witch and ghoul. Ken Parker, a community arts legend throughout Ireland for many years, and founder member of the parade organising team, has come out of a period of retirement to create these two new additions, and this is just a taste of the spectacular plans for 2015.
After moving to Kinsale in 2003, Rosita Kingston began the parade in 2005 with a view to providing a safe space for children to enjoy this much loved holiday event and give a focus to a day when the local community can come out and have fun together. “Kinsale gives so much to the visitor being such a popular tourist destination, but this event is where you meet your neighbours,” Rosita explains. The local business owners are very supportive of the event; handing out sweets to the passing children, and sponsoring performers and prizes; in fact all of the funding comes from donations by the local community. “There are special gifts for the best dressed participants on the day, and plenty of sweet treats for everyone. We are already making plans for the tenth anniversary in 2015, but for this year’s event, the scary witches and ghouls are 15 feet tall, and the fire show by Will Flannigan and Kinsale drumming circle led by Jonathon Barlow will keep the entertainment going at the end of the parade in the short quay,” says organiser Yvonne Coughlan.
Stall holders from the local farmers market will make sure everyone can buy a hot drink and something tasty to eat. Ruth Gill, Hilary McCarthy, and Peter McSweeney are among the community volunteers making sure all are well and happy and nicely scared this Halloween. Transition Town Kinsale organisers Jeannie Timoney and Klaus Harvey, as well as actors from the local FEC, will ensure a great time is had by all.
There are several evening events to keep the festivities going, with bands for the teenagers in Temperance hall from 8pm, and Mangoween 2 (www.msmfestivals.com) offering spooky visuals and sounds in the Lord Kingsale (Back Venue) DJ Fake Rolex and DJ Flipside Selekta, Gerry B, DcDj providing world beats and Halloween classics. Come in Fancy Dress, win prizes, play Halloween games until 9pm.