The clouds parted last Saturday at noon & Tallafest 2017 was opened under a warm blue sky on Saturday in the Tallaght village Architecture Conservation Area ( ACA).
It brought together almost 10 thousand people in very positive spirits to enjoy a day of arts, crafts, culture, rural traditions all wrapped up in a huge dollop of good old fashioned community spirit.
The months of dedicated preparation by the voluntary committee, supported by a deep collaboration with a diverse set of community, arts and culture groups culminated in a colourful and energetic parade down Main Street bringing fun, culture and laughter in abundance to the village area once again.
The opening parade was led out by the Mayor, Guss O’Connell, Simon Sweeney, the current Tallaght Person of the Year and the Grand Marshall – Paddy Drac who travelled in a chaffeur driven open back vintage car. The vibrant Arts & Culture world in Tallaght was strongly represented in the parade by the Tallaght Youth Band ( celebrating 40 years) and St Martins Twirlers.
The Sporting world was also ably represented in the parade by the Black Panthers Kickboxers, Tallaght Martial Arts and St Marks Taekwondo Club. 100 local children from all over Tallaght added a splash of colour to the parade as balloon mascots.
We were deeply honoured to have 3 dignitaries open our parade this year. It was also very important to be able to recognise 49 years of volunteering by our own, Paddy Drac, by asking him to be the Grand Marshall of the parade.
It was also a proud endorsement of the cultural and inclusive aspect of the festival as we welcomed the Keynan Ambassador to Ireland to Tallafest ” said Gerry Stockil, Voluntary chairperson of Tallaght Community Council.
Tallafest – A Town and Country Fair was founded 5 year ago to bring a positive focus back to the Tallaght village area, to recognise its important to the growing community in terms of our origins and deep heritage.
In addition to all the firm favourites of the imaginative fun in Kids Zone, live stage performance and the craft market – this year saw the free festival activities grow a new Create Zone – where adults & kids could get involved in nature art classes, bodhran drumming lessons, clay modelling, Recreate upcycling workshops and fun learning with Citywise.
Festival Director Tara De Buitléar
” The new Create Zone was hugely popular and offered something for all interests and a real opportunity for families to get involved in creative activities together at Tallafest17.
“This addition was hugely popular and a success. There is no greater rewards to the months of community giving by the community and others to make Tallfaest happen than the smiles on the faces of everyone leaving Tallafest after an amazing day.”
“The cultural inclusive activities were also expanded to include a pop up Gaeltacht, Brazilian artisan foods and Roma crafts – plus a much larger craft market showcasing over 35 local artisan crafters and businesses.
“The market included Partas who were showcasing artisan food and drink – all made in Tallaght – and who were promoting the new Tallaght craft beer, Priory Beer.”
As a centre of education since Saint Maelruain in the 8th century, Tallaght’s education institutions were out in force at Tallafest – An Cosan, Citywise and Greenhills College were all on hand to help people assess the options open to them for further education.
The 168th Scouts from Tymon created a wonderful scout camp under the shady canopy of trees allowing adults & kids take a break from the buzzing festival in the calmness of the great outdoors.
National interest and attendance at Tallafest was also extremely positive, with Tallafest2017 making it onto the nuacht on TG4 with a glowing report on the cultural event.
“Tallaght Community Council sincerely thanks all the residents, businesses, churches and institutions located in the village for their cooperation in accommodating the festival for 12 hours on Saturday.
“It is much appreciated and shows a real coming together and community spirit which Tallaght is famous for.”