Feis in the Park took place from the 19th-21st August in Tralee, Co Kerry. It was the first Feis to take place in the Republic of Ireland in 18 months following the outbreak of Covid-19.
It brought together 500 dancers, teachers, and parents from all around the country. For many it was their first time in months, to travel outside their own province, let alone travel to a Feis.
Feis in the Park’s opening ceremony welcomed James Mc Cutcheon Cathaoirleach CLRG, Minister Norma Foley, Mayor Jonny Wall, Terry O’Brien, Ken Tobin Chief executive, Órla Nic Conuladh Cathaoirleach Outreach & Development CLRG and Órfhlaith Ní Bhrian Vice Chairperson CLRG.
It was clear from the animated faces of the dancers how much it meant to be given the opportunity to dance on a stage again.
Naturally some nerves were evident, especially from the younger dancers, as for some, it was their first time ever to dance at an ‘in person’ Feis.
Aisling Daly (10) a dancer from Dublin, stated how she misses indoor classes and Feiseanna. ‘Having dancing class outdoors and on zoom just isn’t the same. I’m so excited to get back to a Feis and see all of my friends again.’
The 2019 Rose of Tralee, Sinead Flanagan attended the event and presented the Senior Men and Ladies championships. She was even presented with her own Feis in the park sash and trophy!
The weekend was topped off with a fabulous step about from the senior dancers. It was a brilliant way to mark the end of a spectacular few days of dancing.
Michael Donnellan ADCRG remarked that it was great to see people happy and jigging again.
“Competition may not be the ultimate but it seems to create such incentives and goals for aspiring dancers. Moreover, for parents, teachers and children I think we just missed people, interaction, camaraderie, and our friendships. When the music starts . . . our hearts lift.”
The resilience of our Irish dancing community is incredible. Congratulations to all dancers, teachers, organisers and volunteers for a truly amazing event.
Written by Donnamarie Nic Ruairí TCRG