Crowds brave weather for festival success

MORE than 1,500 people turned out over the course of the recent Dromara festival to support and participate in events, according to organisers.

This year’s programme of events was one characterised on the one hand by bad weather and cancellations, and on the other by staunch community support, widespread generosity and a determination to make the best of things.

“Even the wettest of evenings saw some strong-willed souls out to watch the duck derby,” a spokesperson said.

“Usually the ducks are thrown in a peaceful, babbling Lagan and they gently weave their way under the bridge - not this year!

“The ducks would have been swept out to sea in a matter of minutes if they’d been thrown in the raging river.

“The dreadful weather got the better of the Vintage Rally too; it was cancelled after every effort had been made to try and host the event.”

On the upside, despite the worst of the weather, the festival as a whole was declared “good fun for all”.

Said the spokesperson, “From the climbing wall to the ice-cream stall, there was something to suit everyone.

She added, “The festival benefitted from the wonderful generosity of local people. The charity chosen by the festival this year was CLIC Sargent, a charity that supports children and young people with cancer and their families.

“Throughout the festival week collections were made and donations given.

“The local Zumba class, led by Helen Brannen, donated £200 pounds from one class; Dromara GAA held a quiz night and donated all of the proceedings (and winnings) to CLIC.

“The final total raised for the charity was £1,222.

“It is impossible to thank all those who helped but a special word of thanks goes to our professional photographer, Andrew Vaughan, who did a fantastic job recording events for posterity; also, Sloan’s Transport were invaluable in supplying equipment for the festival.

“Finally, a big thank-you to all who helped, attended, joined in or laughed at any event during Dromara’s 2012 Festival; it doesn’t happen without local support.”