Wednesday 28 September 2016

Irish Redhead Convention: Carrot-tossing, ginger speed-dating, certificates of genuine foxiness

Cormac Fitzgerald

Published 22/08/2015 | 16:50

The 2014/15 King and Queen of the Redheads, Gary Fitzgibbon from Crosshaven and Laura-May Keohane from Kinsale, pictured onstage at the 2014 Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven.
Photo: Diane Cusack
The 2014/15 King and Queen of the Redheads, Gary Fitzgibbon from Crosshaven and Laura-May Keohane from Kinsale, pictured onstage at the 2014 Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven. Photo: Diane Cusack
Outgoing Red head Queen Laura-May Keohane getting a kiss Photo: Irish Red Head Convention
Performers Judette Photo: Irish Red Head Convention

Redheads have descended in their droves to Cork to attend the sixth annual Irish Redhead Convention.

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Crosshaven, Co Cork, is the site of the convention, which is a celebration of of all things ginger.

The convention kicked off yesterday with the 'red-gistration' and redheads arriving from all over the country and abroad too.

Carrot-tossing, ginger speed-dating, freckle counting, certificates of genuine foxiness and the coronation of the Redhead King and Queen are just some of the events that are taking place.

Omga ginger parade #IrishRedHeads #Foxyfest pic.twitter.com/UFkxy1swWq

— RhianLubin(@rhianlubin) August 22, 2015

Last night had a red head darts competition and a the 'red crawl' pub crawl through Crosshaven.

Today, the 'foxygen' music stage is open for exclusively red-head acts, such as Ginger Nutz, The Baby Cheeses, and Judette.

The King and Queen of the Redheads were also named.

Gráinne Keenan from Fermoy, Co Cork, took the queen title. And Alan Reidy, from Blennerville, Co Kerry, was made the king.

Alan Reidy (23) is crowned King of the Red Heads at this year's festival
Photo: Irish Red Head Convention
Alan Reidy (23) is crowned King of the Red Heads at this year's festival Photo: Irish Red Head Convention

Later, ginger speed-dating will take place for all those lonely ginger souls. There will also be a ginger parade.

The convention is also a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society, with 20pc of all ticket sales going to the organisation.

Joleen Cronin, who originally started the convention with her brother, Denis, told Independent.ie that it had been growing steadily each year.

"It started six years ago we were thinking of novel ways to celebrate my brother's birthday," she said.

Laura May Keohane, Kinsale, Co. Cork. outgoing Queen of the Redheads celebrating the launch of the Irish Redhead Convention 2015
Photo: Jason Clarke
Laura May Keohane, Kinsale, Co. Cork. outgoing Queen of the Redheads celebrating the launch of the Irish Redhead Convention 2015 Photo: Jason Clarke

"This thought of having a party and only inviting people with red hair got tossed around and we thought let's keep this going.

"We made it very fun and friendly and very open for families."

Last year, over 2,000 people attended the festival from all over Ireland and the world. Ms Cronin said that this year there have already been about 2,000 people.

"It's amazing to be surrounded by so many redheads again. You're walking around the village and half the people here have red hair - it's off the scale!" she said.

"It's a small town so we wouldn't want it getting much bigger.

Ms Cronin said that festival is a celebration of Ireland as well as red hair.

"It is about celebrating our culture and Ireland and red hair which is so iconic of Ireland too.

A face without freckles is like a night without stars... Loving life. Ginger anfproud #foxyfest

— Elaine Mooney (@elzplane) August 22, 2015

The festival will wind up tomorrow, with early morning yoga, which will cost €5 with all proceeds going to the Irish Cancer Society.

There will also be red-headed art exhibitions and the 'red-headline' music act, Mary Coughlan.

For anyone wondering, non-red heads are allowed to attend the convention, too.

"There would be plenty of people here who wouldn't have red hair at all," said Ms Coughlan.

 

 

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