It’s that time of year again – the north west’s top annual summer attraction, the Rockin’ by the River festival, has returned to Plumbridge for another packed week of events. Things got underway this morning (Sunday (15th July) when almost 100 cyclists set off from the village on the first festival cycle run, organised by Plumbridge Cycling Club.
It’s fair to say the big draw of the day, though, is when world renowned group The High Kings visit the Glenelly Valley for a special performance tonight. The folk band, whose members include sons of The Clancys and The Fureys, are one of the most in-demand groups in Ireland and attract huge audiences, so tickets for this one are expected to be like gold dust.
Run by Glenelly GFC, the annual festival has carved out a reputation as a fantastic summer event that has something to suit everyone. Set against the stunning backdrop of the Glenelly Valley, the week-long event is seeing more and more people organise their summers around it. Last year’s event saw several international visitors from the US, Australia, Germany, France and several parts of southern Ireland.
Kellie Morris is Chairperson of the organising committee: “It’s hard to believe its festival time again but we’re delighted that it is. We’ve tried to set the bar that bit higher again this year and we think we’ve achieved that. The High Kings are probably the most eye catching name on the bill, but we’ve also got other great bands such as the Crazy Folkers on Saturday 21st July, who are a lively folk band with a great reputation. That is going to be a big night. We’ve also got the Mike Denver Band, Justin McGurk & the Boogie Men, and all our usual events that people love and look forward to every year.”
She added: “It’s definitely going to be another brilliant event and it’s great to see the community all together and enjoying themselves. We’re also trying to make it as cheap as we can for people given the times we’re in. We’re looking forward to it and there’ll be plenty of craic!”
Other big attractions at this year’s festival include a Strictly Come Dancing ‘Champion of Champions’ event, which will see winners from other local clubs and schools go up against each other to win a full sports kit for their school or club.
The Big Bingo jackpot has been increased again this year, and there is also the ever popular charity vintage rally on Saturday 21st July, which will see radio stations Highland Radio and Downtown Radio in attendance.
To find out more details about Rockin’ by the River, look up the facebook page, or follow on twitter @GlenellyFest.