Ballinahown was nominated by Westmeath County Council to participate in an All Island Competition called Pride of Place. The competition is about people living in an area having pride in their area, working together to make Ballinahown a great place to live. We also celebrated National Play Day on the day of the competition and having a family fun day for all.
The judging for Pride of Place took place in early August starting at the entrance to Ballinahown village.
While community spirit is always evident in Ballinahown, preparation for this event took co-operation, collegiality and creativeness to new levels in the Village. In the weeks and months preceeding the competition volunteers could be seen mowing grass, strimming footpaths, picking litter, repainting fencing, painting houses and planting flowers. The committee were seen regularly in the local pub meeting, planning and discussing all things Ballinahown.
The help of many volunteers, from all the different community groups, business owners, residents, parents and school children in the local area, was enlised. Sub groups were formed to undertake the different tasks and held meetings every week to coordinate the work being carried out. This included:
- The presentation was made on the day. The speakers and presenters included the parish priest, local county councillors and committee members.
- The committee made a video showcasing Ballinahown and its residents. It can be viewed here
- The route that the judges would take had to be agreed, mapped and choreographed to ensure it was completed in the allocated time. There were committee members at each stop on the route to meet the judges.
- Event Planning: The event was catered by members of the community, each volunteer made dishes for the buffet. They also decorated the hall; there were pieces from local artists on display in the hall on the day.
- The first outdoor market was held at this time giving local craft people an opportunity to display their wares; these included local artists, patchwork quilter; baker, honey producer and local fruit and vegetable grower. This also allowed us to showcase the new sculptures. There were different games of football played in the sports park.
The Pride of Place event was a huge success with 160 people from the population of 200 turning up on the day. It was a great opportunity to get more projects in the village completed and for the community to be proud of their village and residents.