With the bank holiday still fresh in the mind, we look back at the highlights, the history, and memories of Strokestown’s new Halloween Harvest Festival.
On Saturday, the children picked their pumpkins and decorated them in the community hall. Over 300 pumpkins found new homes, all looking well, painted, and some pumpkins even ended up with hair. There was also some children’s theatre performed by the new local theatre group; Enchanted Croi Theatre.
When the theatre was over, the crowd moved down to Bawn Street, to do so they walked down along Church Street and did lots of trick-or-treating along the way, on the specially made sweet stalls made by some local volunteers. On Bawn Street, the Town Team had erected a new marquee to cater for the children. There were games, treats, and music by a local Irish music group. The whole crowd was entertained by the musicians on the festival stage trailer. As laughter rang out through-out the air from the marquee, the adults enjoyed a free cup of tea or coffee, and of course; barmbrack with a ring. It was a pity that all the fun and games were cut short by darkness on a cold autumn evening, but Sunday was yet to be enjoyed.
Sunday started frosty and cold but the gods provided a beautiful day, which made the golden straw glisten in the sunshine before it was bailed on the street, ready for threshing. As the marquee filled up with the youth again, the mobile tea room was busy. The Mid Roscommon Vintage Club showed off their beautiful old cars, tractors, and motorcycles. There was a through back to 1946, with a tin-smith showing his magic; making tin rose petals, ornaments, coal shuttles, and all kinds of wares from sheets of tin.
Everyone was being entertained by the various music acts on the music trailer with a fantastic performance from the Owen Kennedy Country Band. The boys were there with the 1946 Fordson Major powered by a six-cylinder Perkins engine, which was driving the old fashioned 1950’s threshing machine. As the three-man crew got her going, grown men stood in awe, and watched as the corn was fed through the machine. Watching the thresher operated on a pulley belt from the Major, the men compared their ages, and we discovered that those under the age of 42 years, had never seen the thresher move from farm to farm. So, those of us of a certain vintage loved to see it back in town and we hope the Harvest will be good again next year.
Bridge Street, Strokestown, Co. Roscommon
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