14 Aug 2022

Local WI to showcase activities during revamped Co Derry festival

The Fairy Thorn Festival will take place later this month.

Local WI to showcase activities during revamped Co Derry festival

Members of Kilrea Women's Institute (WI).

A County Derry community group are set to showcase a host of their activities as a popular local festival returns later this month.

Kilrea WI has played a vital role in the community for 85 years. During that time the Institute has brought together women of all ages and backgrounds, for fun, friendship, education, and much more. For 71 years the annual WI Flower Show has been a very successful and widely supported event, but sadly was put on hold during the pandemic.

Although the members regret that the Flower Show will not be held this September, instead they are planning to showcase their Institute during the upcoming Kilrea Fairy Thorn Festival.

The showcase will take place in First Kilrea Church Hall from 11.00am to 4.00pm on Saturday August 20.

There will be a wide display of WI crafts and memorabilia, and the opportunity to see what activities the members have enjoyed during recent years.

This year Kilrea WI have chosen to support Guide Dogs for the Blind through donations and a Fireside Quiz.

Last Autumn, the BBC TV show ‘A Stitch Through Time’ was won by a talented young designer from Kilrea.

Thomas Irwin, a graduate in Textile Art, Design and Fashion, has kindly agreed to display some of his exciting garments and his new range of bow ties as part of Kilrea WI’s exhibition.

“The WI ladies are extremely proud of Thomas and his achievements and are hoping as many people as possible will take the opportunity to come along and see his original designs,” said a spokesperson.

“If you have recently moved to the area and are looking to meet new people, joining the Women’s Institute is a wonderful opportunity to do just that.

“Or perhaps you have recently retired and are wanting to keep yourself busy or just be entertained. No previous skills or talents are required to join, only the desire to enjoy yourself and make new friends.

“If you are planning to visit the Fairy Thorn Festival, please drop in for a look around and have a chat with some of the members.

FEATURE: County Derry bridge has witnessed history unfolding around it

With the Bann Bridge at Kilrea currently closed for maintenance and resulting in lengthy round-trips, Liam Tunney takes the history of a structure that has served the area for more than two centuries.

“Children and other family members are welcome too! If you are a member of a neighbouring Institute, we would love to see you and be able to share and compare what our Institutes get up to.

“Kilrea WI are delighted that the Fairy Thorn Festival has been revived and are delighted to be a part of it.

“There will be lots of activities for everyone over the weekend, 19 – 21 August, so do come along to Kilrea and don’t forget to pop in on Saturday 20 to see the WI display,” they added.

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