We were delighted to be invited by Mayo County Council to take part in Mayo Day 2023. Mayo Day is a celebration of the people of Mayo, the spirit of mayo and links up with Mayo people all over the world. It is a day when we showcase the best in craft, design, food, music and all things Mayo. This year it was celebrated in the town of Ballina, as it was celebrating its foundation 300 years ago in 1723.
Ballina is certainly to place to be this year. Joe Biden, US President, whose ancestors came from Ballina, had visited a few weeks previous. Indeed, the town was looking lovely, freshly painted and all tidied up! When we arrived in town at midday, the town was buzzing. The sun was shining, the aroma from the many food trucks was enticing. We visited the art and craft design tent and bought ourselves a beautiful handwoven willow St. Brigits Cross from basket maker Tom Delaney, https://www.ouldcrafty.com/. We passed the tent doing free blood pressure checks, meant to call back, but forgot!
We went to the food village where we were scheduled to do our thing at 3pm. We did a pared down version of The Irish Soda Bread Way, one that suited the venue. We first chatted about how soda bread came to being in the mid 1800s. A lovely lady from the audience volunteered to bake white soda scones with Carmel. She had heard us interviewed on local radio, Midwest Radio the day before, as part of the promotion for Mayo Day, and wanted to join us. Our first groupie perhaps! Another lady then volunteered to bake traditional brown soda bread with us. It all went so well and the crowd seemed to enjoy themselves. The buttered and jammed scones just out of the oven were scoffed within minutes!
Carmel enthralling the audience as ever!