The Folly Fest Organising Committee (left to right): Kyle Tyler, Maura McEvoy, Jarlath McDermott, Fidelma Seymour, Jimmy Galligan, Laura Brady, Kathleen Moore and Padraig Reilly. Missing from Photo: Rita Casey, Christina Beard, Robbie Harrison and Padraig Maguire.

Free for all in Ballinagh at Folly Fest

New Mayor or Mayoress to be revealed

Look out for the new Mayor or Mayoress at Ballinagh’s Folly Fest this weekend in Ballinagh. The festival, named after the historical Flemmings Folly overlooking the town, will take place for the third year running.

Entertainment will include music on the streets in Ballinagh, a kid’s toy tractor run, face painting and more all throughout the weekend.

Activities will be led by the elected mayor or mayoress of the town, with Robbie Harrison, Fidelma Seymour and Alice Fitzpatrick in the running for the title this year.

Fundraisers such as walks, hampers, cake sales, karaoke nights and a Mr and Mrs night have been taking place in the town for the last number of weeks by those competing for the title. The candidate to have raised the most will become the new head of the town.

Funds raised will go to initiatives taking place in the town, with the committee hoping to donate the remainder to Cuan Cancer Support and Haemophilia Support Group.

The festival will kick off this Friday (August 11) when the current reigning mayor Robbie Harrison will either keep his title or hand it over to the next leader of the town.

“They will have the freedom of the town,” joked committee member Jimmy Galligan of the new mayor, adding that they “can actually go down and go into Crossdoney as well”.

Messing aside, Jimmy explained: “It’s to get people working in the same frame of mind and have a bit of craic as well.”

Following the new appointment, party rock band ‘Green Diesel’ will perform live on the streets of Ballinagh from 7pm until 8.30pm. The four-person band have been performing all over Ireland for the past 10 years and are sure to get you into the festival spirit, recreating songs from artists such as Avicci, AC/DC, ABBA, Ed Sheeran, Dermott Kennedy, George Ezra and loads more.

Rock-on into the night with a Bon Jovi tribute afterwards from 9-11pm.

The traditional kid’s tractor run will take place on Saturday at 5pm, a favourite of many of the committee members with over 100 kids participating last year. Kids from all over the county are invited to come along and drive their beloved plastic wheels through the town, led by the new mayor of the town. Get into the swing of things with two-piece band Brother Bold playing from 6-8.30pm.

“The brothers cater for people of all ages, playing everything from Irish Ballads to chart hits from the 60s to today’s hit singles.

Pat McKenna and Glenshare Country are sure to get your toes tapping with social dancing from 9.30pm to 12.30pm in the community centre.

Those looking for a change of scenery can head up Main Street to a live performance by 4DegreesWest, the young and lively four-person band. Feel free to hop between the two.

The family fun continues on Sunday with a Honda Run leaving form the hall at 12pm. While the run is on, the committee, in conjunction with Ballinagh GAA Club will be preparing pitch for the children, with activities galore such as a sports day, arts and crafts and face painting from 3-5pm.

Uncle and nephew duo ‘Two Generations Band’ are on stage with country, rock and pop hits from 5-7pm. Drops of Green will close the Folly Fest with their twist on classic Irish Ballads, a must see for young and old alike.

“The Folly Festival is to let people know that Ballinagh exists,” Jimmy said.

“We’re doing it for free,” he said, adding that there will be buckets for people to make donations.

The committee praised the businesses around the town and the locals, who make the festival possible.

“It’s family friendly and everyday there is something,” Jimmy said, from “rip roaring” bands to allowing children to “pedal down the town” creating a “mighty family atmosphere”, adding that the most attractive element is that it is free for everybody.