Mayo Day 2018 was a truly memorable day of celebration of the place and people of County Mayo. Made of Mayo in Ballinrobe Racecourse, the centrepoint of this year’s activities was a resounding success, with a turnout of over 6,000 people and every element of the event attended by a capacity audience. The Mayo Artists’ Exhibition, Literary Lounge, Gaeltachtaí Mhaigh Eo Tent, Music & Food Village, Sport Enclosure, Workshop Hub, and Food & Craft Showcase was brimming with brilliant atmosphere and the bustle of entertainment and activity. The Made of Mayo artists, artisans, craftspeople, writers, sportspeople and musicians involved received great interaction and attention from the crowds with sales of goods and full attendance of the many performances and workshops throughout the day.
Outside of Made of Mayo, the county Mayo Day celebrations took many forms, the H.E. Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to Ireland was hosted by Mayo County Council in Moore Hall with a guided tour of the Estate and a wreath laying ceremony in Kiltoom. Sonia O’Sullivan was special guest of the Claremorris Park Run, which received a great turnout of people who chose to celebrate their love of their county with a healthy start to Mayo Day. The Diaspora Mass was a scene of red and green as families filled St Muredach’s Cathedral Ballina for a special celebration of mass for all Mayo people overseas who had the opportunity to view proceedings on the live stream via the Cathedral webcam.
Guided Walks through Erris and north of the county took place and were well attended by people who wanted to enjoy the sheer beauty of County Mayo and hike their way on a sunny Mayo Day. Westport’s streets were filled with street entertainment for the open-air The Street’s Got Talent competition which saw buskers, singers and dancers battle it out for the grand prize.
The Grainne Mhaol Dragon Boat Club and Castlebar Town Band collaborated their talents as singers and drummers on the boat harmonised with the band as they converged at Lough Lannagh Bridge to represent their pride in the green and red of Mayo. The inaugural Soundwaves Summer Festival presented by Achill GAA in The Big Red Barn Achill featured many great local talents represented in the Stars in their Eyes concert. Balla community took great local pride in their Mayo Day by hosting a Heritage Walk highlighting the historical sites, community initiatives and the beauty of the local flora and fauna including the swamp cypress tree and carabine beetle, indigenous to Balla!
The international celebration of Mayo Day continues to grow in the attendance at the events and the experiences on offer. Close to 500 people attended the Mayo Day Celebrations in Luton, London, while south Manchester village Levenshulme home to one of the biggest Mayo Diaspora communities in the UK proudly showed Mayo flags flying on high over four venues and The Murphy Sisters from Claremorris made their UK debut headling a special Mayo Day Tradfest.
The County Mayo Foundation hosted a memorial at New York’s Battery Park, a lone piper played a tribute to Mayo’s diaspora, and actress Maria Deasy read the Doolough tragedy episode from “Worlds,” a novel by John Kearns, followed by a beautiful rendition of “The Green and Red of Mayo.” The memorial was organised as a special Mayo Day celebration honouring the resilience of those who left Mayo during the Great Irish Famine, as well as celebrating the many generations of Mayo diaspora who have made New York their home.
American celebrations took a colourful turn when many famous landmarks turn green and red to mark the occasion. US based Kiltimagh man Padraic D. Walsh secured the lighting of the New York Peace Bridge, a particularly well-placed landmark as it spans the Niagra River connecting New York to Ontario in Canada. Philadelphia, Cleveland,
Achill native Kevin Corrigan Chairman of the Oman GAA founded in Muscat arranged a celebratory Cic Fada and Buenos Aires Hurling Club held their Poc Fada Competition to celebrate Mayo Day and commemorate the historical Argentinian connection to Co Mayo. Hannah & Emily Davidson proudly donned their Mayo jerseys as they skydived through the Dubai skies from 8,000 feet in celebration of their love of Mayo. While Mayo man Tomás Mac Ceile-Ruadh grabbed a Mayo Flag and displayed it proudly at the Niger River in North West Africa.
Marijampole, Lithuania celebrated their connection with County Mayo, by hoisting a Mayo flag high above the Marijampole Square in honour of the celebration. Krsko, Slovenia held a picturesque walking event where local craft food produce was on offer throughout the trail with a Mayo flag flying high at the centre of the Mayo Day outdoor gathering. The combination of Portugeuse and Mayo flags at the Lisbon Technical Institute celebrating Mayo Day and the Maritime pasts of Mayo and Lisbon.
Bringing the pride of Mayo back to Irish shores the CCD in Dublin and Ashford Castle basked in the green and red glow for Mayo Day. All Mayo Day participations wouldn’t be complete without the incredible online presence the #MayoDay garners this year, as the Mayo community worldwide got behind Mayo Day 2018 with #MayoDay trending from early Saturday afternoon.
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