Welcome to the Hollywood Fair 2014

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The Hollywood Fair Committee is already busy preparing for this, the fourth year of the Fair (from Wed 13th to Sun 17th August). Reaching out to our emigrants overseas, the 2014 Fair promises to be even better than the hugely successful ones of 2011, 2012 & 2013. The pre-1950s rural heritage theme of the Fair has proved a real hit with people. Whether it’s nostalgia for the past or something else but country and townspeople alike have been flocking to Hollywood in the last 3 years to be part of the celebration.

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The 2013 Fair surpassed all expectations. It began on the Wednesday but the major outdoor events were concentrated at the weekend. The reconstructed Famine cabins in Farrington’s field had attracted a lot of curiosity and from early on the Saturday visitors began to arrive in the village. From about 5pm they started to congregate in Tutty’s field. Dressed in pre-1950s attire the large attendance were in festive mode as they made their way by pony and trap, vintage vehicles, bikes and shank’s mare to the nearby church for Mass in traditional Latin style at 6 o’clock. After Mass the crowd proceeded to Farrington’s field to witness the re-enactment of a Famine Eviction scene from the 1840s. Well over 2,000 people attended this outdoor spectacle.  Featuring local adults and children the performance was a tremendous success. Some people were even moved to tears by it, and it later became a hit on YouTube! (Find the link below)

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The attendance on the Sunday surpassed all expectations. The crowds just kept coming and coming. Among the items on display were vintage cars and farm machinery. There were exhibitions of the traditional crafts of blacksmithing, stonecutting, wood-turning and butter making. The indoor handicrafts being displayed included spinning, knitting and sewing. Storytelling, fortune-telling and matchmaking were just some of the other items on offer.  Another highlight was the sheep show: the competition for the various categories attracted intense local interest. It’s estimated that approx 3,000 people attended the Fair on the Saturday and an amazing 7,000 on the Sunday. People embraced the whole spirit of the occasion and enjoyed the spectacle of seeing each other dressed in period attire! Everything was done on a purely voluntary basis by locals – there wasn’t a celebrity in sight!  People were astonished that they could enjoy such entertainment for an entrance fee of just 2 Euros (children were free). 

This year’s Fair is being organised on the theme of the Gathering. Hollywood GAA club is inviting all past players back for a social evening on the Friday of the Fair. Locals have been encouraged to invite members of their own family and friends who are abroad home during that week. The Hollywood Fair booklet this year will feature articles from Hollywood emigrants in the USA, Africa, Australia, Britain and Europe. Hollywood will welcome home its extended family for the great community celebration which is the Hollywood Fair.  

Beidh céad míle fáilte rompu abhaile.

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