independent

Saturday 25 October 2014

Ready to fly high for the Millstreet Park Kitefest

BILL BROWNE

Published 22/05/2014 | 05:26

Richie McCarthy from Clondrohid at last year’s KiteFest.

WHILE most of us will be hoping for a sunny June, kite flying enthusiasts will be praying for a windy day in Millstreet on Sunday, June 15.

Now in its second year the Millstreet Park KiteFest will see hundreds of people descend on the venue to enjoy the spectacle of dozens of weird and wonderful kites gracing the afternoon sky at the north Cork venue.

As with last year's inaugural event, the star attraction will be professional kite flyer Andrew Beattie who will travel to Milstreet for the day from Scotland complete with a selection of truly eye popping kites.

These will include a gravity defying 30-metre kite shaped like a Manta Ray, a massive flying saucer complete with alien, giant inflatable teddy bears and crocodiles and a trio of tigers pawing the air.

The event is the is the brainchild of Fermoy woman Joanie Hanley, who took up kite flying as a way of easing stress during her own successful battle against an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Joanie, who only completed her final round of chemotherapy this week, said she took up kite flying as a way to relax during her treatment.

"It is a cheap and easy way of getting out in the fresh air, forgetting all of the trials and stresses of life and just relaxing," she said.

"While it may be a sport for some, for many of us kite flying is simply an enjoyable hobby. That is why we are encouraging people to come along to the event with their own kites and simply enjoy the experience."

Visitors to the Park can also enjoy kite flying demonstrations, workshops, a dedicated children's play area and a host of other activities during the day.

People can also take the opportunity to enjoy the stunning Park in all its glory taking in the 12 miles of walking and cycling trails and the 250 wild deer that live there.

Admission to KiteFest, which will run from 1pm to 5pm, will be €20 per car with Millstreet Country Park agreeing to donate all of the proceeds to Breakthrough Cancer Research.

Joanie said she and the team behind Kite Fest organised the event to bring the joy of kite flying to a wider audience.

"Another reason was to show my gratitude to everyone who helped with my treatment. Raising money to for cancer research is my way of saying thank you to each and every one of them," she said.

"Last year we raised €3,500 and my hope is that we will top that figure this year. We are also planning to make it a national annual event with KiteFest's taking place at venues across the country," said Joanie.

For more details of KiteFest 2014 visit www.millstreet.ie.

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