Showing posts with label Richy's Bar and Bistro. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Richy's Bar and Bistro. Show all posts

Sunday, June 16, 2019

The Incredible Clonakilty Street Carnival

The Incredible Clonakilty Street Carnival
Volunteers Rise To The Occasion Again!

Volunteers. What would we do without them?

You've just got to hand it to the magnificent community behind the annual Clonakilty Street Carnival who once again provided a marvellous day's entertainment in the West Cork town last Saturday.
Finalising a table in the morning.

Lots of meetings ahead of the big day of course and it all came together in the most delightful way, even the weather cooperated!

Food is an essential element here. And, before the big event, the kids had their Long Table meal, a healthy one as well. Indeed, the children are very well catered for here. Lots of activities for them, everything from face-painting to penalty shootouts, from table tennis to learning circus tricks.

Chefs get ready
And for everyone, there’s so much to see and do. Music, music, everywhere. Brass bands, jazzy bands, solo singers on the side streets, big bands on the stage on the main street. And all of this is free!

You do have to pay for the main event, the long table dinner. Three long rows of tables along the main street have been prepared by those volunteers from early morning. The restaurants, cafés and hotels in the area, all get together to provide the food, a great variety of it.

Volunteer at the carnival stall
For just fifteen euro, you have a choice of main courses (all street food style), a glass of wine or beer (the local brewery did a special for the occasion), and a dessert from Irish Yogurts (a big sponsor of the event). All this for just fifteen euro per adult, half that (I think) for kids.

No wonder the queue for the 3.00pm “eat-off”, began about thirty minutes earlier. But it was all very mannerly and good-humoured, lots of banter and you could still hear the music and take in some of wandering acts.
The superb Clonakilty Brass Band. Well, half of them!

And no big rush once the "gates"opened! Just a few are let through at a time to pick up their chosen dishes from the restaurant stall of their choice. And when you emerge at the other end, there's a smiling volunteer there with a tray to help you to a vacant seat.

After that sit down and relax. Eat that food, sip your drink, listen to the band, chat to the neighbour, watch that stilt-walker go by. Just enjoy. The day is young, the sun is where it should be, and Clon is buzzing.

More photos below and more on my Facebook and Twitter accounts
The big drum proved a major hit

Wind section

"Applause for the band please". Another volunteer in action

Helping out at the children's long tabler.

Children tuck in.

This guerrilla band of would-be chefs, complete with pot lids and wooden spoons, led by a noisy broccoli-biting whirling dervish, made quite an impact!

This volunteer led the queue in a sing-sing!


Clon by the sea

Teaching a juggling trick

Full marks here for this quick-learner

On the first tee

Super stuff from the team at Celtic Ross!

Music. Music.

Diners relax in the sun

Earlier in the day.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Clonakilty Street Carnival. The more we pull together, the further we will go.

Clonakilty Street Carnival. The more we pull together, the further we will go.

I spotted a demi-sphere in a Clonakilty back-garden last Saturday. It was made of old bicycle wheels. Inside there were a few hens and outside it supported some thriving peas. It struck me later that this kind of inventiveness, this ability to think outside the box and to cherish those who do so, is part of the town’s success. 
Chris O'Sullivan introduces Mayor Gretta O'Donovan

The motto at Richy’s Restaurant, now celebrating 16 years in the town - Think Global, Eat Local - is another example, another spur to raise the bar. Richy is full of enthusiasm. He doesn’t see barriers, he says. Richy doesn’t hum and haw. “If you want me to cook a meal on top of Carrigfadda Hill, I’ll do it.” 
Work to be done!

And they do support local here as was underlined the following morning when we sat down to breakfast at Glendine, a lovely B&B run by Mick (Clonmel) and Mari (Youghal) Hanly, both members of the brass band, and involved in the carnival and the town. Local all the way on the plate here.
Getting there

Clon, as it is popularly known, has a string of awards to its credit, including Tidy Town and Entente Florale. It is designated an Irish Heritage town. It is the first official Fair Trade Town in Ireland and, more recently, was named European Town of the Year in 2017, that after a major refurbishment of the main street, the very street in which they hosted, for the third time, an amazing street carnival, the highlight of which was the feeding of about 2,000 people last Saturday. Population of the town is about 4,500.

We got down there early-ish on Saturday morning. Three massive rows of tables were laid out. But they were bare. Not for long though. Soon the organised volunteers appeared. The tables were covered and then pots of wild flowers began to appear. At the entrance to the street, the providers, local restaurants and hotels, were setting up in the covered area.

In Clon, there is something for everyone: “Social Together” was the theme for the 2018 festival and that of course meant kids, lots of them. And they had their own long table. And much more besides. 

All day long, amidst the colourful ribbons, bubbles and bunting, there was live music, a kids’ zone with supervised bouncy castles, pottery classes, penalty-shootouts, face-painting, magicians, bubbles and popcorn machines, as well as giant games, ping pong, and crazy golf, and an enclosed area for the real smallies. Street performers, with games and costumes, helped the kids enjoy themselves.

Gradually the momentum began to build as the weather held good and the locals and visitors began to arrive in force to enjoy the free entertainment and to make the  theme of “Social Together” a lively fun-filled reality. The more we pull together, the further we will go.

And there was music, lots of it, off all kinds, from jazz to pop groups to their own magnificent Clonakilty Brass Band (founded in 1900). Some played in the Astna Square area near the kids zone while others took to the big stage at the other end of the street. And there were others trying their luck, even a teenage quartet belting out Beatle numbers on a side street.

While music in Clonakilty, like life in the town, has many strands, the town credits Noel Redding’s impact on his adopted home as “monumental”. In 1972, Noel, the original bass played with Jimmy Hendrix, moved to Clon and stayed there for the next 27 years. His legacy continues in the venues he performed at, the festivals he helped to inspire and the abundance of musical talent he fostered and attracted to the locality.

Of course, the main focus in the afternoon would be back at those tables. As three o’clock approached, we joined the queue, a long one but very good humoured. Soon, we were making choices, so many as you can see on the photo of the menu, everything from Quality Hotel’s Falafel and trimmings to Lettercollum’s Paella, from Celtic Ross’s Bacon and Cabbage croquette (very good reports on that one) to Hart’s Cafe’s veggie curry. I enjoyed the Asian style Seafood Noodle salad by Scannell’s while CL’s choice was the Nasi Goren by Richy’s. 

But there was something for everyone. Oh yes and there was dessert also, big pots of stunning fruit yogurt by Irish Yogurts. And a drink? Of course. Plenty of water, wine and a special beer for the day (a good one too!) by the local brewery. All for fifteen euro! The kids meals, by the way, cost seven. 
The queue!
Looking for a seat!

And once we had our meal in hand, the next question was where to sit? But no problem. As we left the serving area, we were met by one of the fantastic volunteers. She had a tray, put our food on it and guided us, chatting and laughing, to seats that we, left to our devices, might have found difficult to spot. So we ate and the music played and the sun shone! Great stuff.

So well done to the committee and the volunteers, people who also had their businesses and shops to run on the day. I met some of them including Kevin O’Regan, Mick Hanley, Michelle Mitton, Trish Kerr, Tim Coffey, Andrew Loane, Chris O’Sullivan, Robert O’Keeffe and Richy Virahsawmy.
from Scannell's

If Chris was everywhere music was happening, Richy was everywhere there was food! And he was a happy man as the rush wound down. “Would you find this anywhere else in Ireland?”, he asked. So big congrats to Richy and all his colleagues behind the scenes for another fantastic day in Clonakilty.

Sponsors too play a major role here and the list is as long as Mick Hanley’s arms (both of them!). This year the Street Carnival committee were delighted to welcome Irish Yogurts as a platinum sponsor. Irish Yogurts is a family run business and was founded in Clonakilty in 1994 by Diarmuid O’Sullivan.

Kevin O’Regan, Clonakilty Carnival Committee: “This is a community effort driven by commitment, enthusiasm and great energy.” Craic, ceol, bia, comharsanna, cuairteoirí = an meitheal is mó ar domhan. See you next year in Clon!