‘History will tell you what happened but a song will tell you how it felt’

Children – and the young at heart – will be delighted to meet Disney characters on the streets of Killarney

An events-filled programme of quality entertainment has been lined up for the Celebration of Irish American Friendship in Killarney with great, must-see attractions to be enjoyed from July 3rd to July 5th.

The centuries-old bonds that exist between Ireland and America will be appropriately acknowledged through a variety of entertainment events with the undoubted highlight being a gala parade through the streets, on the evening of Thursday, July 4th.

It will feature spectacular custom-built floats, marching bands, colourful cheerleaders, the rumble of power-packed motorbikes and a whole host of fun-loving and much-loved Disney characters, fairytale princesses and so much more.

McShain Story co-producer Fiona Crowley
Noel Patrick O’Sullivan: Co-producer

With the 100-year celebration of the opening of Killarney National Park scheduled for 2032, Killarney Chamber of Tourism and Commerce last year initiated a special lead-in programme to mark the occasion and to celebrate the generosity of the Bourne-Vincent and McShain families who gifted much of the park to the nation and the people.

That historic and valued relationship will again be to the fore during the course of this year’s festival with the captivating story of John McShain to be told, through poetry, music and song, in a special hour-long production at the Anam Arts and Cultural Centre prior to the big parade.

Co-produced by the multi-talented Noel Patrick O’Sullivan and Fiona Crowley, it will tell the McShain story through the thought-provoking poetry of Tim Buckley, the musical talents of Tony O’Flaherty and Miriam O’Sullivan and the voice of Mary Culloty O’Sullivan with the detailed research into the life of the McShain family conducted by Rachel Kelleher of the NPWS.

“History will tell you what happened but a song will tell you how it felt,” Noel Patrick O’Sullivan remarked.

The hugely popular Truly Diverse will lead the street party

This year also there will be an opportunity to remember the estimated six million Irish people who emigrated to the US since 1820, whose descendants now proudly describe themselves as Irish-American. Their story will be told in an engaging public lecture in the appropriate setting of Killarney House – the former McShain residence – on the evening of Wednesday, July 3rd.

The fascinating topic will be Kerry Emigration to the US 1820-1920 and the special guest will be vastly experienced genealogist and author Kay Caball.

Marching bands will take to the streets

The fun-filled festivities on July 4th will include a fabulous kids zone on the grounds of St Mary’s Church of Ireland with a whole variety of free activities, including face painting, balloon and art games and an energetic open air kiddies’ disco.

The Celebration of Irish American Friendship schedule will also include a town centre family-friendly, interactive drum experience, lively DJ sounds on Main Street, a sensational Great Gatsby routine with dazzling dancers and an open air live brass band performance on the streets to fill the mid-summer air with great sounds.

Fans of colourful Disney characters will enjoy the street parade

Following the big parade on Thursday, July 4th there will be a rousing street party lwith hugely popular local band Truly Diverse providing the music and everybody is being invited to join in what will be a beat on the street with a stamp of trademark Killarney quality.

To bring the Celebration of Irish American Friendship to a lively close there will be a rousing traditional folk session with a contemporary twist at the Gleneagle INEC Arena on Friday, July 5th.

Founded and managed by Nathan Carter and Liam McKenna, CEOL takes its inspiration from The Dubliners, The Chieftains, Mumford and Sons and many other great Irish and international artists and a great night of entertainment is guaranteed.

All roads will lead to Killarney for the Celebration of Irish American Friendship which will be enjoyed not only by mid-summer visitors to the town but by several hundred people from all over Kerry who will line the streets to enjoy the magic.

KillarneyToday.com: Read by thousands of people every day: To advertise call 064-6631281 or 087-2229761