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The 500-acre Millstreet Country Park is to showcase a Traditional Crafts and Blacksmithing Fair, with over 40 exhibitors, during the May bank holiday weekend.
The event, which launched today, will run from Thursday 3rd May to Sunday 6th May and will feature a working forge where members of the Irish Artist Blacksmiths Association (IABA) will demonstrate their skills to create implements and special pieces using the anvil, the hammer and the forge fire. They will be joined for the event by other expert craftspeople making everything from the súgan chairs, willow baskets, leatherworks, pottery, stone sculptures and a host of other creations from a bygone era.
In addition visitors to the Fair at Millstreet Country Park will be treated to a view through the half door of an old style cottage where the bread was baked and the bacon cured and all the ingredients were grown in the garden patch.
Mr Joe O’ Leary chairman of IABA said: ‘Blacksmithing has generated huge interest since the staging of a world event in Monaghan last year and as a result our members were determined to stage an event in the South this year. Millstreet Country Park is the ideal venue for such an event, especially since it located centrally between Cork city, Kerry and Limerick. The facilities that are being make available to us by the Park, which is a designated ‘Special Area of Conservation’, are second to none and we are looking forward to the experience’.
Millstreet Country Park’s Education Officer Lorna O’Mahony told us: ‘The educational value of seeing and learning what can be created using traditional skills will be the main feature on Thursday and we encourage schools to book early as numbers will be limited on a first come first served basis.”
She also said that a workshop on Thursday will feature entrepreneur and former Presidential candidate Sean Gallagher who will offer advice and guidance to those interested in making a career out of making traditional crafts.
Donie Howard, General Manager of Millstreet Country Park said: ‘The event is very much in keeping with the ethos of the Park as it has an educational aspect as well as giving people the opportunity to become re-acquainted with their heritage in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere among nature in all its splendour, in the beautiful month of May. Lastly, the award-winning Nibbles Food Emporium & Artisan Bakery has just opened another 80-seater restaurant here so this, coupled with all the activities planned, will ensure that visitors can enjoy every moment. There’s so much going on here people should ideally log on to www.millstreetcountrypark.com.’
The Millstreet Country Park Traditional Crafts & Blacksmithing Fair commences on Thursday May 3rd until Sunday May 6th, 11am to 6pm.
Further information on special deals, group rates and transport for the event will be available on the Park website www.millstreetcountrypark.com or by telephone at 029 / 70810.
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