The Bantry Barbeque Festival was opened last Friday evening by Food Writer John McKenna of ‘The Bridgestone Guide’ with the sizzle of burgers, hotdogs and ribs cooking in the background. The area around New Street was closed off and entertainment was provided by the flamboyant band ‘Dr Hula Hoop and The Boogie Monsters’. Luckily for us word had not spread that the food was free and we lined up happily at the stand outside the Anchor Tavern for delicious burgers and succulent ribs. The rain that had teased us in the morning stayed away and we sat outside eating and enjoying the music.
Saturday afternoon was beautiful and I wandered around Bantry with one of my daughters, stopping to listen to Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann who were putting on a traditional music concert in the main square. There had been Dinghy racing in the harbour earlier in the day followed by Cruiser racing and live music outside the Quays later in the evening.
On Sunday we gathered in James J Crowley’s pub for the match (Cork V Roscommon) and the kids happily ran back and forth to the Square where an immense array of entertainment got underway; Bouncy Castles, Bucking Bull, Sumo Wrestling, Horse Racing, Giant Connect 4 and even one of those dunking tanks where you sit on a diving board over a tank of water and await your fate. Like the barbeque food, this entertainment which went on from 2pm until 6pm was amazingly all provided for free.
From the Square we wandered back towards the barbeque that was going on outside Denis Lucey’s pub where music was provided by brilliant band ‘Out of the Blue’. Sitting in the sunshine with great music, food and a party atmosphere it couldn’t have been more perfect. I will definitely be putting this festival in my diary for next year.
Til next time, Sheila