In welcoming all to the launch Festival Chairman Tommy McGuire thanked the Main Sponsors present for their attendance and moreover for their generous financial support of the Festival, which he said was “a major contributing factor in the Committee’s ability to stage the Festival annually”.  He in particular welcomed the managing Director of MC – Building Chemicals Johannes Linder and Francisco Gomez for their attendance and for agreeing to become a new Main Sponsor of the Festival in 2019.  He noted the apologies of other Main Sponsor representatives Robert Heavin – Carna Transport and Sean Coleman on behalf of Coleman Tractor Motors and Todays Local and acknowledged their generous support.

He thanked Cllr. Noel Keelan, Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal Area for attending the launch and asked him to convey the Committee’s thanks for the support received from Monaghan County Council through the following programmes; Monaghan County Council Arts Partnership Scheme, Failte Ireland/Local Authorities Regional Festival Funding 2019 and Carrickmacross/Castleblayney Municipal.

He paid tribute to all the other Festival Sponsors who generously support the Festival each year and most of whom have continued to do so even when the financial climate was at an all-time low.

He praised the role and work of the Muckno Mania Festival Committee who are devoting their time in the planning and staging of the Festival in an unselfish and extremely generous nature.  He said “the Committee are witnessed working over the Festival weekend as they move from one day to another and one event to another, but the work that they do in the months leading up to the festival particularly in attending regular meetings is perhaps unnoticed and unacknowledged so as Chairman I want to thank and acknowledge their immense contribution”.

This year’s Festival will promote a Circus theme and many of the activities and events will reflect that theme throughout the weekend.  The big attraction over the weekend is the arrival of the Country’s oldest name in Circus, Cornvenieo, Cirque De Lumiere who will present live performances over two days featuring aerial arts, acrobatics, aerial stunts, fire stunts and magical feats.

Coinciding with the 2019 Muckno Mania Festival, the Free Market pavilion will be installed outside of the Hope Castle Gate Lodge. This forms part of a National Tour which explores and celebrates the vital role that market places and buildings play in the life of rural communities. Castleblayney has been chosen as the first town for exhibition to visit since its arrival back from Venice. This will be officially launched on Thursday 4th July and full details of events are still being finalised but townsfolk are encouraged to explore the exhibition and join in guided walking tours, contribute to Vox Pop recording sessions and for younger townies the team has designed a special Townie Scavenger Hunt. Check out www.mucknomania.ie for further information.

Events on Friday kick off with a ‘Big Top’ attraction in Mindszenty Park at 3pm.  A special treat on Friday evening is the arrival of the Dublin Ukulele Collective, which comprises of over 30 Dublin based musicians who will perform on the town’s Main Street.  The Festival Committee acknowledges the role of local lady Helena Carragher who helped to facilitate this eagerly awaited visit.

A number of special competitions have also been organised to help promote the festival theme and spirit.  These include a business Shop Window Competition and an outdoor residential garden competition.

New to the programme is a ‘Bingo Mania’ event on Saturday night, which promises a fun night of music and a quirky bingo game.  The night will be hosted by two upcoming comic stars Lucy Lashes and Robyn Diamonds both who featured on the recent production of Irelands Got Talent.  Doors open for this event at 7pm with the first game at 8pm.

Friday will again feature a Street Carnival comprising of street acts and entertainment.  Included in this also, is the return of TrialStar a motor cycle stunt performance. Following these events crowds will assemble at Lough Muckno for a spectacular Fire show and Fireworks Display with pre-fireworks entertainment.

A sprint triathlon will again feature on the programme on Saturday morning and the predicted warm temperatures will no doubt test the stamina and the endurance of the eager participants.  Plenty of fun is expected from the staging of the Raft Contraption competition, which takes place immediately after the Triathlon event.

Castleblayney Faugh’s play their part once more in staging a sports day in their grounds at St. Mary’s Park and this will be preceded by the popular Teddy Bears picnic. 

As mentioned Bingo Mania will take place in the Glencarn Hotel.  This will be preceded by the High Tea with the Queens event, which will see this year’s Festival Queen participants take to stage in pursuit of this year’s title and to take over from last year’s winner Ellen Mullholland.

The Funday Sunday, which is expected to draw huge crowds on the day comprises of an array of events such as, Monaghan’s Fittest, a competition which seeks to find Monaghan’s fittest male and female and an array of street performers and other entertaining side shows, including dog fancy dress, face painting and welly throwing.  The day will also feature a Cultural fair, craft activities and musical entertainment.

Also over the weekend there will be events held under the Age-friendly banner, including a social evening in Iontas and a security talk and floral demonstration both on Friday evening and a Be Our Guest tea event, on Saturday at Lough Muckno.  Back by popular demand again this year is the ‘Find a Fairy in the Forest’ trail at Lough Muckno.

Festival Chairman Tommy McGuire in his concluding remarks at the launch again acknowledged the generous contributions the festival receives from local businesses and the goodwill that they afford the festival.  He also acknowledged the support the festival receives from local townspeople, who fully endorse the festival by attending events and taking part in competitions that are run as part of the Festival programme.