The first Bandon Culture Trail took place on Friday September 22nd as part of wider Culture Night celebrations across the county and city. The event was a combined endeavour by the St. Michael’s Centre, Bandon Library, CETB Bandon Adult Education Centre and Bandon Day Care Centre. The evening was a great success with standing room only at each event.
Over 50 people packed in to the St. Michaels Centre to hear Rita Kearney launch the trail and to listen to local historian Clare McCutcheon. Her breath of knowledge on all things Bandon related had the audience enthralled.
The trail moved on to Bandon Library at 6pm where more than 120 people enjoyed the songs of Percy French as performed by Michael Lawlor. Along with his wonderful voice, many people commented on the benefit of having the background to each song explained by Michael.
An exhibition of photos by local photographer Dan Holland also opened in the library. The stunning images of local people and places will be on display in Bandon library for two weeks.
At 6.45 the trail moved to the new CETB Adult Education Centre on Weir Street where more than 150 people were entertained by the High Hopes Choir. The choir’s renditions of contemporary classics had the audience clapping and singing along. The comment most heard at the end of the set was a wish that they could have played for longer. Plans are already being made to have them back to perform in Bandon in the not too distant future.
At 7.20, the local Link bus was on hand to ferry people across the river to the West Cork Heritage Centre where Rae McKinlay’s storytelling captivated her audience in this most apt of storytelling venues.
The final stop on the Bandon Culture Trail was the town hall where the Bandon Concert Band entertained a full house with a wonderful range of music that once again had the audience clapping along. At 9pm people moved through to an adjacent room to enjoy a display of work created by those who attend Bandon Day Care Centre. The colours and vibrancy of the art drew nothing but positive comment. Paudie Palmer kindly addressed those present to close the first Bandon Culture Trail. The central them of Paudie’s comments was that Bandon is a great community with a vibrancy and diversity that merits being celebrated on nights such as last Friday.