A MAJOR street carnival will take place in Clonakilty on Saturday June 11th to mark the ending of the town’s €12m resurfacing and drainage works.
The carnival and street party-style event will be held to unveil the new streetscape and there will be activities for all the family from 9am until 9pm.
After 18 months of major works, the town is celebrating with an extravaganza of free entertainment and fun.
On the day, the streets will be fully pedestrianised and filled with street performers and buskers, a kids’ zone with supervised bouncy castles, face painting, magicians, bubbles and popcorn machines on Ashe Street, as well as giant games, ping pong, crazy golf and much more.
Local food businesses have come on board to provide complimentary tasting samples up until 3pm before Clonakilty’s longest dinner party begins with street food stalls from 15 of the town’s top restaurants, showcasing the best of their menus, from 4pm until 6pm, providing €5 meals. Brightly decorated tables will line the full length of Pearse Street and the whole town will be festooned in more than 10km of bunting.
‘Clonakilty boasts a wealth of great value accommodation, food and entertainment for visitors to the town, and all are welcome to the Street Carnival celebration,’ said Kevin O’Regan of Clonakilty Carnival Committee.
‘The Clonakilty Street Carnival significantly marks the completion of major road works and what was a hugely challenging time for businesses and local people. The result is a greatly enhanced streetscape for the town which is set to benefit businesses, local people and visitors. The last year has not been without hardship for people in town, particularly businesses, but we are ready to rise up again with a stunning new town, positive that we will reap the benefits.’ Mr O’Regan pointed out that on June 28th 2012 Clonakilty suffered a devastating flood in the centre of the town. Following the flood, it has been impossible for many property owners to get insurance, making it very difficult for them to invest in their properties. ‘For many small rural towns already struggling to compete with online outlets and large shopping malls, this could mean the end of many generations serving the local community. The town has shown fantastic energy and community spirit in getting back on its feet,’ he added.
The new flood relief scheme, combined with a new water treatment plant and a transformed streetscape mean that, not only has the town been protected from future flooding events, but the environment of the town has been significantly enhanced by a thoughtful street redesign. ‘This project led by Cork County Council used a very high quality specification of materials and workmanship to build new wide pavements and street crossings. Beautiful new trees have been planted along the street making it a very pleasant place to stroll, shop and meet friends,’ explained Kevin.
Cllr Christopher O’Sullvan, the new chairperson of the Clonakilty Chamber of Commerce, said the business people of Clonakilty have had to put up with an awful lot over the past 12 months. ‘I completely understand the frustration that has been felt at times by local traders. But they have also been incredibly patient and understanding. This is our way of thanking them for their patience.’
He added: ‘Since the day the Main Street re-opened I have sensed an air of positivity around the town. We have a fantastic new streetscape, the Michael Collins museum has just opened, so now Clonakilty is ready to build on this momentum and begin to prosper once again. No other town has this type of community spirit.’
There will also be live music at various locations. The town’s many businesses and suppliers will add to the day with festive window displays, promotions, special offers and in-store events.