Queen of the Land to take on Tullamore this weekend

The countdown is on to one of the biggest social weekends in the calendar for young farmers and rural-dwellers, with the 54th Clarke Machinery Group Queen of the Land Festival getting underway this weekend.

Claimed to be the largest festival in the Macra na Feirme calendar, the weekend will see 30 ladies descend to the Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly.

The competition will see the “Queens” put through their paces with interviews, both in private and on stage, over the course of the weekend, with plenty of time for entertainment and activities as well.

The Queen of the Land Festival is held from Friday, November 9, through to Sunday, November 11, and is sponsored by the Clarke Machinery Group.

Clarke Machinery Group operates out of four locations – two premises in Cavan, one in Meath and one in Roscommon with over 50 different franchises, including: Valtra; McHale; Kverneland; Redrock; Weidemann; and Kubota, among others.

The competition’s judging panel this year consists of: Gerard Clarke, managing director of the Clarke Machinery Group; Emma Birchill, reigning 2017 Queen of the Land; Anna-Marie McHugh, National Ploughing Association assistant managing director; and Joe Healy, IFA president.

Meanwhile, MC for the weekend is local radio broadcaster Will Faulkner from Midlands 103.

The weekend is seen as a “stand-out” social point both for Macra na Feirme members and for farmers and rural dwellers around the country.

The Queens will be brought on a tour to Clonmacnoise and Tullamore Dew on Friday afternoon with the evening entertainment – featuring Marty Mone – beginning at 9:30pm.

Saturday will see the girls being interviewed by the judges, beautified by Ritzy’s and Opium Beauty Salon and taken to meet their escorts in Hugh Lynches bar.

Evening entertainment will begin at 7:00pm, with on-stage interviews set to begin at 8:00pm and entertainment provided by Transmitter, the Groomsmen and Joe Wynne – with DJ until late.

On Sunday, the Queens and escorts will be taken to Cosmic Bowl for some bowling before going to 1:00pm mass at the Church of the Assumption, Tullamore.

There is a gala banquet on Sunday evening with the doors opening at 6:30pm, music provided by the LOL’s. At midnight, the 54th Clarke Machinery Group Queen of the Land 2018 will be crowned.

Tickets for the Friday and Saturday nights are available for €10 and €15 respectively and can be purchased at the door or from the festival website.

Tickets for Sunday, however, are €45 and must be pre-booked from the website. A weekend entertainment ticket is €70 and can be purchased online.