All Action June Bank Holiday Weekend
From Fancy Dress Football to Fr. Ted themed pub crawls and rocking out to rockabilly in the CU Marquee, the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival will be bringing its own unique brand of fun for all ages to Athboy from 31st May – 3 June.
Organised by Meath Macra na Feirme, the Festival brings 23 young women from all over Ireland and abroad to Athboy for a weekend of good craic. They’ll each leave on Bank Holiday Monday with great memories and friendships that will last a lifetime. Although only one lucky Queen will be heading home with the title of Blue Jean Country Queen, as well as €1000 in prize money from Athboy Credit Union.
The 2019 Festival will be officially opened on 7 pm Friday 31at May in the Darnley Lodge Hotel by Athboy Community Person of the Year Dara Englishby. This will soon be followed by the Queen’s first public engagement – the on stage interviews. During the interviews, the gathered crowd of supporters and well-wishers learn a little bit more about each Queen. Once the interviews are over then it is time for the Queens to let their hair down dancing to DJ Mark Caffrey.
From Saturday, the Blue Jean Country Queen takes over the streets of Athboy with the Street Fair 1-5pm, with live music on the streets and children’s entertainment in the Credit Union Car Park. The Great Blue Jean Bake Off returns with a chance for gifted bakers to compete for the best bread or cupcakes. The Bawn Inn will be hosting Pitch and Putt with transport to and from the venue provided by Anthony Tennaty. At 5 pm, attention turns to Floods Bar where one and all are welcome to join the Queens for the annual Karaoke competition. This will be followed at 7 pm, Athboy Credit Union’s will annual free family BBQ in the Credit Union Car Park.
The annual Pub Crawl starts at 9pm, and is great chance to join the Queens on a tour of the many fine local establishments in Athboy before heading back to The CU Marquee for 11pm, in time to rock the night away with Joe Fury and the Hayride or head to the disco in TABU Nightclub and Venue. This year’s Saturday night entertaiment is Fr. Ted themed and everyone is welcome to dress up as their favorite Craggy Islander.
The fun starts at 12:30 on Sunday afternoon with our Lark in the Park in Athboy’s Fair Green. The Queen’s will get things started with their 80s vs 90s Pop Stars Fancy Dress Football Match. Then it’s a quick change and time for the Fashion Show, where the Queens will show off their best blue jeans and formal wear. Once the formalities are out of the way, then it’s time to relax with music, sideshows, food and children’s attractions until 5 pm.
Sunday evening, Queens, Macra members, dignitaries, sponsors, and supporters will gather the Darnley Lodge Hotel for the Gala Banquet at 8 pm. After that it is off to the CU Marquee where the 2019 Blue Jean Country Queen will be revealed. After the coronation of the new Queen, it will be time to party until late with Off The Wall.
While the organisers emphasize the fact that weekend will be a fun, craic filled few days of “Sound Girls doing Mad Things” there is still a competition to be one. The victorious Queen will receive 1000 from Athboy Credit Union. As well as a perpetual cup, tiara and golden sash. Second prize receives €500 from M&G Groundworks and third prize wins €250 from Hi-Spec Construction.
On Bank Holiday Monday, the festival will wind down in the Darnley Lodge Hotel from 1 pm. committee, host families, sponsors and well-wishers are welcome to see the Queens off with live music.
Every year the organizing committee selects three individuals and charge them with the task of selecting the new Queen. Returning from 2018 and representing the community of Athboy will be James Hesnan, Linzi Stewart of Rural Youth Europe and Kate Manning, the 2014 Blue Jean Country Queen.
Meath Macra na Feirme are delighted that they will be welcoming back the current Blue Jean Country Queen Alison O’Connor. Alison, a member of Causeway Macra in Kerry and the first Queen from the Kingdom to ever win the Blue Jean Country Queen. Reflecting on her year she said: “I can’t imagine what my Macra life would be like if I hadn’t crossed paths with the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival. Having only been very new to the “Macra” scene, it provided me with the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the nicest people dotted all over Ireland. And if it hadn’t been for the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival, I wouldn’t have been so spurred on to get further involved in all things Macra.”
Speaking at the launch of the Festival in the Causey Farm on 6 May, Chairperson Ciaran Kearney expressed his gratitude to everyone who helps in the organization of the festival: “I would like to thank our committee for all their hard work. We also couldn’t run this festival without the fantastic support of Athboy Credit Union, M&G Groundworks and High-Spec Construction and The Darnley Lodge Hotel.” He also noted the graciousness of the town of Athboy, which has hosted the festival since 1987: “Athboy is also incredibly important to us as a Festival and we also wish to thank them for giving our Queens a warm and wonderful welcome every June.”
Further information on the 2019 Blue Jean Country Queen Festival will be announced in the coming weeks. For more visit our website: www.bluejeanfest.com or on Facebook.
All photographs courtesy of David Gilroy/Firepan Photography.