My involvement in Chapelizod Festival began last spring when I heard that the Festival was in danger of becoming just a weekend event or of even being scrapped altogether.
But it can’t, I thought, the Festival is one of the reasons that Chapelizod is so special!
Well put your money where your mouth is, came the response of the hardworking committee.
I’m not hugely political. I don’t go on marches. I don’t spend a lot of time trying to fix the problems of the world. But I do recognise a good thing when I see it and sometimes it takes a wakeup call to realise that good things only last if you take care of them.
I feel passionately that there are so many other benefits beneath the surface of what simply looks like a week of fun. There’s the way it includes everyone from young to old. There’s the way it includes all the local businesses as much as possible. There’s the way the children from different schools and from different age groups get to bond with one another before we go our separate ways for the summer. These things will stand to them in years to come. There’s the way the people of the village, through its fundraising, helps to subsidise many of the events so that it can cater to all pockets.
It seems like daily that you read about the problems that come with modern-day living, whether on an individual level or at a community level. Why wait until we have big problems such as mental health issues in our young people, lack of social integration, loneliness in the elderly, a lack of neighbourliness until we are spurred into action? Why not do all we can to help keep life in this village so inclusive, healthy and evolved? For me, the Festival is a key ingredient in that.
And besides. Organising talent shows, day trips and three-legged races is much more fun than protest marches.
By Nicki Howard