Donegal people and visitors to Inishowen are being encouraged to ‘stay safe’ during the ongoing the coronavirus restrictions, while looking forward to 2021, following the cancellation of this year’s ‘May the 4th Be With You Festival.’
Speaking to Donegal Live, Heidi Doherty, manager of Explore Inishowen explained: “The ‘May the 4th Be With You Festival 2020’, a celebration of all things Star Wars, was due to take place this week, for the second year running.
“Supported by Fáilte Ireland, last year’s inaugural festival hit headlines all over the globe with the renaming of the road ‘R242 to R2D2’ and an ‘Invasion of the Stormtroopers landing at Greencastle.’
“2019 also saw excited the movies’ fans being treated to a weekend of Star Wars orientated activities, including ‘The Last Jedi’ drive-in movie and firework finale closing the festival.
“Malin Head Community Centre Association was in the final stages of completing the ‘May the 4th Be With You Festival 2020’ programme, momentum was gathering, when, unfortunately, Covid-19 squashed their plans, which was to feature ‘A Return of the Millennium Falcon’ with hugely acclaimed LUXe, specialists in landscape theatre and processional spectacles recreating the galactic experiences of the Star Wars theme,” said Ms Doherty
In spite of the Covid-19 pandemic and the restrictions on daily life in Inishowen, community groups in the peninsula collectively agreed, in the spirit of positivity, to acknowledge the ‘May the 4th Festival 2020.’
Heidi Doherty said: “The Clonmany Community Centre made Stars Wars orientated gifts and memorabilia for the festival in 2019 and during a recent meeting, Bebhinn Mullins, manager, Clonmany Community Centre, came up with the idea for themed masks.
“Clonmany Community Centre plenty of experience, having made masks for frontline workers in the past weeks. This was embraced as an effective way to engage with Star Wars fans and reinforce the message ‘Stay Safe – See you next year.’
“Ali Farren, manager, Malin Head Community Centre was very much at the forefront of organising this year’s event with Ronan Doherty (Seaview Tavern) and their associate members, kindly arranged to collate photos from local businesses and community centres.
“Participants in the ‘May the 4th Celebrations’ adhered to safe distancing, while promoting our Star Wars themed message,” said Heidi Doherty.
The colourful initiative came with the Inishowen tourism and hospitality industry undoubtedly experiencing its most difficult season and possibly year ahead.
Heidi Doherty said: “it’s a collaborative effort amidst a story of resilience and hope for the people and businesses of Inishowen.
“We are preparing for when everyone can trade again and although it’s not possible to visit now, in relation to our Star Wars themed event for May 4th we send this beam of light from ‘this galaxy far, far away.The Force is still strong in Inishowen.’”
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