A large crowd gathered in Kildare Town on Sunday, September 15h to celebrate the opening of the St. Brigid of Kildare Gathering festival which was officially opened by the Mayor of Kildare Mark Wall. Mayor of Kildare Mark Wall offered “ a special céad míile fáilte to all those named Brigid” and also mentioned all those with an affinity to St Brigid who travelled from near and far to participate in the event. In addressing the crowd, he acknowledged that “Kildare Town can trace its culture, heritage and history back to the 5th Century and is intrinsically linked with Brigid”. The opening ceremony included Irish dancing set from the girls of Scoil Rince Cill Dara and traditional music from the Rambling Boys.
The festival involves a week- long celebration of St. Brigid and her legacy and runs from Sunday 15th September to Saturday 21st September. The festival will see large numbers of visitors to Kildare Town to celebrate the story of Brigid and enjoy music, dance, workshops, readings and pilgrimages.
The highlight of the week is expected to be the final day attempt to set the Guinness World Record for the most people to weave St. Brigid’s crosses at the same time. Registration for the world record challenge is available in person through Solas Bhríde or Kildare Heritage Centre or online at www.solasbhride.ie and by post using the postcard registration form, which was delivered to all homes in Kildare Town over the past few weeks. A cover charge of €5 applies (€3 for students) and a limited number of registrations will be available on the day of the event.
To ensure the attempt meets the strict Guinness World Record criteria, participants not already familiar with weaving crosses are asked to attend one of the open (free) practice workshops – which operate on a ‘drop in’ basis. Details of workshops on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday are listed on the programme of events which is available from www.solasbhride.ie. A drop in practice workshop is also running next Saturday morning at Kildare Town Library from 9.30 to 12.30.