MMTradfest wins through to Finals of 2017 Irish Industry Tourism Award

The 6 Day 2016 Mayo Manchester Tradfest which took place in Ballina during the summer has won through to the finals of the 2017 Irish Industry Tourism Awards sponsored by Failte Ireland as the Best Large Festival/Event in Ireland. The week long festival will represent County Mayo in the finals. The other finalists are Cannonball Ireland, Bray Air Display/Bray Summerfest in Wicklow, the St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin and Winterval in Waterford.

Tony Hennigan from Mayo Manchester when asked about winning a place in the final commented "We are delighted to be flying the Green and Red flag for Mayo in this prestigious competition but we could not have done it without the support of the five hundred performers from Mayo and Manchester who were involved in our week long celebration of traditional Irish Music, Song and Dance in Mayo and the places we visited. The annual festival could not survive without the support of Mayo County Council and all sponsors and supporters in Mayo and Manchester. It has received a tremendous amount of support from across the political spectrum with letters of support from President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins and an taoiseach Enda Kenny, along with local TD's, councillors and County mangers."

"The competition is a great way of raising the profile of the festival and Mayo Tourism and its a recognition of the great family friendly entertainment and cultural celebrations that take place in Mayo. This is the second time we have made it to the final of this competition which only takes place every three years. The Last time we made it in the small festival category but the festival which is now attracting over 50,000 visitors has now won through to the Best Large Festival category. The Festival is open to anyone who wants to get involved from Mayo and Manchester, its the key to its success."

The unique collaboration between between Mayo and Manchester through an annual festival started off in 2013 after an invitation from the then Tourism Minister Michael Ring TD who asked the Mayo Manchester Tourism and Business Group to become Gathering Ambassadors as part of the hugely successful Gathering in Ireland Tourism initiative. The event won Tourism Ireland's biggest Gathering event organised by anyone in the UK and it has continued to grow year on year. Last year the festival involved seven key locations in North Mayo which included; Attymass, Ballina, Ballycastle, Bonniconlon, Crossmolina, Kilkelly and Swinford. Plans are already under-way to expand it further with possible visits to Castlebar and Westport. There were 10 main events and 60 fringe events in last years week long festival and the 2017 which will run from Thursday 3 to Wednesday 9 August looks set to be even bigger.

The competition comes hot on the heels of the group winning the 2016 Rehab care International Mayo Peoples Award for their work in promoting business and tourism links between Manchester and Mayo.

The 2017 Mayo Manchester tradfest will be celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the fleadh coming to Mayo with a massive week long festival which will stage key events in different parts of the County. Performers and venues wishing to host one of the key Tradfest events can email mayomanchester@gmail.com or contact them on 00447912512977 more details are available on www.mayomanchester.com