Blue Jean Country Queen festival fever to hit royal county

The Blue Jean Country Queen Festival is set to take over Athboy for a weekend of  ‘sound girls doing mad things’, according to the organisers, Meath Macra na Feirme.

From fancy dress football to Father Ted themed shenanigans and rocking out to rockabilly in the Credit Union marquee, the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival will bring its own brand of fun for all ages to Athboy from May 31 to May 3.

The festival sees over 20 young women from around the country and abroad congregate in Athboy. The newly crowned royal will head home with the title of Blue Jean Country Queen, as well as €1,000 in prize money from Athboy Credit Union; a tiara; a sash; and a perpetual cup.

The runner-up will receive €500 from M&G Groundworks. Third prize is €250 from Hi-Spec Construction.

Every year the organising committee appoints three people to select the new queen.

Returning from 2018’s festival and representing the community of Athboy will be James Hesnan along with Linzi Stewart of Rural Youth Europe and Kate Manning, the 2014 Blue Jean Country Queen.

Kingdom ‘First’

Meath Macra na Feirme will welcome back the current Blue Jean Country Queen, Alison O’Connor.

Alison is a member of Causeway Macra in Kerry and the first queen from ‘the kingdom’ to win the Blue Jean Country Queen. Reflecting on her year, she said that she couldn’t imagine what her Macra life would be like if she hadn’t crossed paths with the festival.

Having only been very new to the Macra scene, it provided me with the opportunity to meet and get to know some of the nicest people dotted all over Ireland. And if it hadn’t been for the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival, I wouldn’t have been so spurred on to get further involved in all things Macra.

The festival will be officially opened on Friday evening, May 31, in the Darnley Lodge Hotel by Athboy community person of the year, Dara Englishby.

This will be followed by the queens’ first public engagement, the on-stage interviews. They will then dance to the sounds of DJ Mark Caffrey.

Bake-off

From Saturday, the Blue Jean Country Queen Festival will take over the streets of Athboy with the street fair from 1:00pm to 5:00pm, with live music on the streets and children’s entertainment in the car park.

The great Blue Jean bake-off will return with a chance to compete for the best bread or cupcakes.

The Bawn Inn will host pitch and putt, with transport to and from the venue provided by Anthony Tennaty.

At 5:00pm, attention will turn to Floods’ bar where all are welcome to join the queens for the karaoke competition. This will be followed at 7:00pm by Athboy Credit Union’s free family barbeque in the car park.

The annual pub crawl will kick off at 9:00pm. Then it will be into the marquee for 11:00pm to rock the night away with Joe Fury and the Hayride or head to the disco in TABU nightclub.

This year’s Saturday night entertainment is Father Ted themed, with festival-goers invited to dress up as their favourite Craggy islander.

The fun will start at 12:30pm on Sunday with the ‘Lark in the Park’ on Athboy’s fair green. The queens will get things started with their ’80s versus ’90s pop stars fancy dress football match.

Then it will be time for the fashion show where the queens will show off their best blue jeans and formal wear. This will be followed by music, sideshows, food and children’s attractions until 5:00pm.

Big reveal

At 8:00pm the queens; Macra members; dignitaries; sponsors; and supporters will gather to the Darnley Lodge Hotel for a banquet. The 2019 Blue Jean Country Queen will be revealed in the marquee. The revellers will then party with ‘Off The Wall’.

On the bank holiday Monday, the festival will wind down in the Darnley Lodge Hotel from 1:00pm. The queen contestants will be seen off with live music.

At the launch of the festival on the Causey farm, chairperson Ciaran Kearney expressed his gratitude to everyone assisting with the organisation of the event.

More information on the festival is available online at: www.bluejeanfest.com.

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