Offaly Traveller Movement hosted the Traveller Pride festival and family fun day on September 25th at Charleville Castle, Tullamore, to mark National Traveller Pride week. This was the fourth year that OTM staff and volunteers hosted this unique festivity honoring Traveller culture. The festival was a huge success, with over 350 people in attendance.
The focus on family fun included children’s entertainment, with a mobile farm, which proved immensely popular with the younger attendees. The face painting, balloon sculpting and magic show provided masses of vibrant and colorful young faces, plenty of fun and entertainment with some adults getting in on the action too.
The event exuded a unique, cultural and traditional vibe, with men playing quoits in the backdrop of an old-style camp site scene, kettle boiling on an open fire, hand-crafted mini wagon, sulky and pony, and other traditional exhibits of Traveller culture including tin smithing and bread making. The event encapsulated images of the traditional way of life and historical dynamics of celebrating this unique, nomadic culture.
Refreshments were available to all and included hotdogs, candy floss, popcorn etc., the open fire kept the tea flowing and sandwiches were provided. Throughout the event, music was provided by a local DJ with some top-quality live performances by locals in the evening. Young singers Annalisa Ward and Derek McDonagh, gave beautiful performances while dancer Sophia Ward showcased her superbly skilled dance moves to a thrilled audience. Singer Joe Reilly performed an amazing set of well-loved songs.
This family fun day was funded by the Department of Children Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth and coordinated by Offaly Traveller Movement, as part of a series of events held throughout the country for National Traveller Pride week. Traveller Pride events nationally, aim to improve partnerships between Traveller and settled communities, and promote cultural awareness of Travellers in Ireland.