Monday 18 November 2019

Festival for the record books

At the launch of the Castlebridge Record Makers Family Fun Festival on the Green in Castlebridge.
At the launch of the Castlebridge Record Makers Family Fun Festival on the Green in Castlebridge.

Pádraig Byrne

Castlebridge is to host a brand new festival later this month in a bid to celebrate the village as the historic birthplace of the infamous Guinness Book of World Records.

Following a debate while on a shoot at the North Slob involving Managing Director of Guinness Breweries Sir Hugh Beaver, a debate ensued over which was the fastest game bird in Europe. Beaver quickly realised that there were no reference books to answer such questions and thus The Guinness Book of Records was born and first published in August 1954. It went on to sell over 100 million copies in 100 different countries and 37 different languages - the world's best selling copyrighted book.

While the link to Castlebridge is not widely celebrated, locals have been aiming to rectify this. In recent weeks, it was revealed that a feasibility study is to be carried out on the historic Castlebridge House and conservatory amid interest from both Diageo and the book's Canadian publishers the Pattison Group.

Now, under the leadership of local Paul O'Brien and a hard working committee, the Castlebridge Record Makers Family Fun Festival aims to celebrate the historic link to the Guinness Book of Records, while also creating a fun day out for the whole family on August 25. Among the events planned are a Guinness Book of World Records fancy dress parade at 2 p.m. at Bridge Rovers' pitch.

Bridge Drama will also re-enact the debate that gave birth to the book and there will be a 'Castlebridge Detective' family heritage trail, an exhibition on the history of the village at the community centre as well as live music and plenty of family entertainment.

'We want the locals to feel ownership of this and be aware of the story,' said Cllr John Hegarty, who is also on the festival committee.

'Hopefully it will bring a bit of a feel good factor about it, along with the feasibility study. While we're keeping it low-key and a community event for the first year and we've had great support from local groups. The hope is that this could grow and grow going forward.'

Wexford People

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