The town of Mountmellick has been renowned for its St Patrick’s Day celebrations over the years – and this year, their Boglands Festival is going virtual.
The first ever Boglands Festival, which was due to take place last year and be a two-day event, had to be canned due to the Covid-19 outbreak.
But more determined than ever, the organisers have returned this year and will put on a show for people from the comfort of their own homes.
Boglands is organised by the Mountmellick Central Hub and one of the organisers, Jason McInerney, explained how it will all work.
He said: “Boglands 2020 was set to be epic but it wasn’t to be and this year we are once again restricted due to the horror that was and is Covid-19.
“It has turned all our plans upside down but we are nonetheless determined to mark this year’s day of National Celebration in a very special way – all broadcast virtually straight to the comfort of your homes
“At 2pm on St Patrick’s Day, we will broadcast right across our social media platforms from the Boglands 2021 Facebook page and directly within the Mountmellick Central Hub group.
“We will begin with a very special flag raising ceremony live from an undisclosed local location. There will be a skeleton crew in attendance and a special guest to raise the in accordance with the public health guidelines.
“Every possible precaution will be taken in order to protect all concerned. The flag raising will be accompanied by a special performance of the national anthem, wreath laying and reading of the Proclamation.
“After this special broadcast from around 2.40 pm until 7pm, our platforms will carry a jampacked line-up with various entertainment videos/sketches from various musicians and family entertainers.”
According to Jason, these include Emer Dunne, Country Roadshow, Emer Rebel, Geraldine Reddy accompanied by daughter Danielle, Jimmy Jests, Jecca and many other local clubs groups.
And the celebration doesn’t end there either as after 7pm, a very special inter-faith ceremony will take place.
He said: “After that, we will re-join you all once more for a very special interfaith ceremony with local faith leaders from all faiths to honour and remember all those whom we have lost to Covid.
“It will also be in solidarity with their families and loved ones and all of our frontline healthcare workers and all essential workers who gave been front and centre over the last 12 months.
“Also on the day we will launch The return of our parade and Boglands Festival 2022 – a triple celebration when we can hopefully celebrate in numbers like never before once again.
“We would also like to invite all who are tuning in on the day to post you and your families celebrations from home.
“We invite you all to post your videos in the comments section of the post on Facebook which will be left open for you all to be able to join in in the virtual celebrations.
“We know it is not the same but months of planning and preparation has gone into this all with one aim – the hope of bringing some smiles to the faces of those in our community in these tough.
“We know we will be back in 2022, bigger and better then ever before.”