IT IS a case of Main Street USA in Killarney as the town prepares to celebrate its annual 4th of July festival, which runs on Tuesday, July 4, from 7am to 12 midnight. The festival, now in its fourth year, is shaping up to be bigger, better and more colourful than ever before with an exciting parade, barbecue, live music, street performances, fireworks and much more. The festival aims to celebrate all that is great about the US and to remember the years of legacy between the United States and Ireland.

Speaking about the event, Killarney festival committee member Ollie Favier said:
“The 4th of July is, to a lot of Irish people, what St Patrick’s Day is to Americans. We have a longstanding and positive relationship with the US Of A as so many Irish people have been welcomed into the land of opportunity and have laid foundations there. And how can we forget that America has introduced us to things like American Football, French Fries and Friends! – so what better way to acknowledge all of this than to celebrate with them from across the pond on their Independence Day.”

The celebration will commence on Tuesday, July 4 at 7am with a “dawn chorus” of the Star-Spangled Banner performed by The Shire Male Choir and a ceremonial hoisting of the USA flag over Killarney Town Hall. Every year this proves to be an incredibly emotional event with American visitors joining Irish revellers to hold their state flags aloft and sing their national anthem with pride.

The 4th of July celebrations will see down town Killarney transformed into Main Street USA, with the town coming alive with street entertainment throughout the day – including The Wild West Troupe, Brass bands and can- can girls performing on the streets. As well as a pipe band, a big parade, street party and BBQ; nostalgic movie lovers will get to watch the classic Back to the Future in Killarney House.

And no 4th of July celebration would be complete without a spectacular fireworks display which will round off the evening at 11.30pm and light up the night sky over Killarney.

Ollie Favier added: “This will be the biggest celebration of America’s Independence outside of America itself. We want to show our American visitors how truly appreciative we are of them and also give a nod to our loved ones over in America celebrating the day. This is of course a celebration of all things American so wear your colours, bring your flags and join us on Tuesday, July 4, as Killarney becomes hometown USA just for a day.”


Above: At the 4th of July launch in Killarney were, Paul O’Neill, President, Killarney Chamber of Tourism & Commerce, Diarmuid Leen, Festival Chairman, Ollie Favier, Festival Committee, Cllr Brendan Cronin, Chairman, Killarney Munipical District, Mike Moynihan, Heineken Ireland, and Disney friends.
PICTURE: VALERIE O’SULLIVAN