More than one hundred local businesses from the craft, tourism, leisure and food sectors in South and East Cork came together this 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”.
Ryan Howard, Chair of South & East Tourism and CEO of SECAD said “This super festival saw in excess of 100 businesses join forces to celebrate the Ring of Cork brand. This unique event showcases all the region has to offer from the best food in Ireland, to a vibrant craft sector and the wildest family fun and adventure in our woodlands and coastline, at the pet farms and of course Fota Wildlife park. The region has a rich cultural heritage showcased by the Titanic Experience in Cobh, the Gunpowder Mills in Ballincollig and the Jameson Experience in Midleton. All this and a community spirit that is second to none! We are very proud indeed to support the Ring of Cork brand and activities in this Region”.
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.
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