independent

Friday 15 December 2017

Thirty-five pubs in talent showdown

Padraig Byrne

Stephen Cullen singing a Michael Jackson Medley
Stephen Cullen singing a Michael Jackson Medley

With the Opera Festival rapidly approaching, pubs all over Wexford are tuning up and getting set to battle it out across a range of categories for this year's Guinness Singing and Swinging Pubs.

This is the 61st year of the competition, which creates a wonderful atmosphere of healthy competition throughout the town each year.

Thirty-five pubs have signed up to battle it out in this year's competition, a number which is slightly down on last year. 'The numbers are down a little bit this year,' said Brian Cantwell of Diageo, one of the organisers of the competition. 'I think we're down about three pubs on last year, and that's because unfortunately a couple of pubs have closed down and are no longer trading.'

However for the 35 remaining pubs, competition looks set to be fierce as we get underway on Friday night with The Farmer's Kitchen (9.10 p.m.), The Wrens Nest (10 p.m.), Central Station (10.45 p.m.) and Mooney's (11.30 p.m.) all hosting their night of ceol and craic. A battle for South Main Street will take place on Saturday night with Kelly's (10 p.m.) and The Foggy Dew Inn (11 p.m.) hoping to wow the judges; while on Sunday Mary's Bar (9.30 p.m.), Mary Joes in Barntown (10.20 p.m.) and Larkins Bar (11.15 p.m.) will host their nights.

On Monday night, Simon's Bar will be hoping to once again emerge victorious from the competition as they have on numerous occasions with the help of some of the members from Wexford Light Opera Society. 'Simon's have won a number of prizes over the years,' said Brian. 'They have a good crowd in there and they've won overall singer a few times. Similarly The Pike on the following Tuesday managed to win best traditional style last year and I know both of those pubs will be keen to be among the prizes again. However I can't really single any pubs in particular out. The level of effort that's gone in this year is amazing and musical tones have been heard coming from pubs all over town since August in preparation. The competition looks set to be really intense and I'm really looking forward to getting underway at The Farmer's Kitchen on Friday night.'

For more information on the competition or for a complete list of venues and times, visit www.wexfordfringe.ie/singing-swinging

Wexford People

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