BALLYBUNION is in for another major boost as it prepares to host Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí next week - bringing some of the finest traditional musicians into town from all corners of the county.
For the first time in exactly 50 years, the coastal resort hosted the Kerry Fleadh last year and sent it down in the annals as one of the best county finals in living memory.
That's why both Comhaltas and local establishments are delighted to be coming together once again to host Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí in 2013. They're only praying now for a return to the fine weather that saw the resort thronged over the weekend. The Fleadh Cheoil was launched in Kilcooley's Guesthouse on Saturday night amid a fantastic session.
"We had 20 musicians all playing together at the one time and a huge crowd in to get it all off to a great start!" KIlcooley owner Joan O'Connor said. "It was a fantastic night and we're really looking forward once again to another great Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí in Ballybunion following such a huge success last year."
The Tínteán Theatre and St Joseph's Secondary School will be among the two main venues of the six-day long celebration. Competitions form the main business of the Fleadh, of course, but there's something for even the least expert on all things trad, with brilliant bands playing open-air concerts on the gig rig, all sorts of street entertainment and busking competitions.
"The curtain-raiser for the event will be an evening of sean nós singing at the Golf Hotel on Tuesday from 8.30pm followed by the official opening of the festival on Wednesday evening in the Tinteán Theatre," Fleadh Cheoil organiser Anne Cummins said.
"The opening will feature the cream of the crop of traditional music, singing and dancing talent. In keeping with the sean nós theme, a sean nós dancing workshop with Richard Beamish will be held on Saturday, June 22.
"The Fleadh Cheoil is one of the county's most important cultural events each year and Ballybunion has emerged as one of its greatest destinations after a fantastic Fleadh in 2012. From June 18 to 23 in beautiful Ballybunion, Fleadh Cheoil Chiarraí 2013 will have something for everyone with plenty of magical music memories to take home!" Anne added.