“It worked so well, it was great to see our Craft, Food and Tourism sectors working together brilliantly in Midleton last Saturday and it was an encouraging start to the new brand ‘Ring of Cork’ which was demonstrated with professionalism and gave a shining example of what the Region has to offer” the words of Ryan Howard CEO of SECAD speaking last weekend after the fabulous success of the ‘Ring of Cork’ Festival, which attracted thousands of people from all over the South and East Cork Region and further beyond.
CEO of SECAD Ryan Howard with well-known chef and author Lilly Higgins and Minister for Food, Agriculture and the Marine Simon Coveney at the ‘Ring of Cork’ Festival
The free event was a magnificent success and with a huge amount of Food, Craft and Tourism demonstrations available for the public to see up close and personal, it gave the public a real feel of what the very hardworking people within the ‘Ring of Cork’ are trying to achieve.
For the children there was face painting, animals, interactive fun and plenty for all the family to get their teeth into literally as Artisan producers displayed their mouth-watering products for all to try.
Festival Co- Coordinator Liam Fitzgerald from SECAD told the East Cork Journal “Saturday was a fantastic success, everything went to plan, the weather was great and everyone who came along got a great flavour of what the ‘Ring of Cork’ is all about. This is the start of what everyone hopes will be a new and dynamic addition to our Region. I want to thank everyone who participated last Saturday and helped to make the day such a success”.
Ross Curley and Grace Fox of SECAD enjoying the ‘Ring of Cork’ Festival
More than one hundred local businesses from the craft, tourism, leisure and food sectors in South and East Cork came together last weekend to celebrate the Ring of Cork. There were dance flash mobs, a gathering of American travel and tourism writers, artisan food heroes and even surfing and bush-style survival demonstrations all happening in Midleton this weekend at the Ring of Cork Festival!
Supported by SECAD, the South and East Cork Area Development company, the Ring of Cork brand endeavours to market the many splendours of the South East region from food, culture and stunning scenery to craft and adventure for people of all ages from all over Ireland and abroad.
Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Simon Coveney, T.D. was on hand to launch the Ring of Cork Festival in Midleton at the weekend.
“I originally launched the Ring of Cork brand in 2012 and it is inspiring to see how the Ring of Cork community have pulled together to get the brand and festival up and running. It is invaluable in the current climate to work together for the greater good of the region. Today’s festival is a testament to the community spirit and collaboration here and I applaud everyone involved for making this festival a success”.
The variety of activities on offer at the Ring of Cork festival drew from the region’s specialities – food, craft, family fun, adventure, culture and heritage.
The international travel and food writers, currently staying at Ballymaloe House for the World Travel Writers Conference, also attended the Ring of Cork Festival, which is a gathering event also. The writers absorbed the vibrant atmosphere of the festival, viewing the cookery demonstrations and tasting artisan food samples including Cronin’s Pub Mad Fish stew, Lilly Higgins Peanut & Sesame cookies and The Old Thatch (Youghal) Chicken and black pudding with glazed streaky bacon and lots more.
The elegant Ladies of the Titanic Experience parde through the ‘Ring of Cork’ Festival
Mouse roulette, piglet petting, balloon modeling, pottery making, clay modeling, face painting and even surfing lessons and wilderness skills were just some of the fun things on offer for all the junior festival goers.
Many children joined in the flash mob dancing routines while others petted the goats, puppies and mammals provided by Leahy’s Pet Farm. Local dance company, Studio D School which is run by Diane O’ Sullivan left festival goers speechless as they performed a number of upbeat flash mobs during the course of the festival. Live cooking demonstrations from local restaurants also provided wonderful tastings and samplings for festival goers, while talks on the region’s heritage took place in the Midleton Courthouse.
The Ring of Cork includes the towns of Cobh, Midleton, Youghal, Carrigaline, and Ballincollig and their surrounding areas, and is supported by the South and East Cork Area Development organisation (SECAD) as well as the town councils of Cobh, Midleton and Youghal. For further festival details, visit www.ringofcork.ie