Tallafest 2019 looks set to be the best yet

by Padraig Conlon

Tallaght Community Council (TCC) recently launched Tallafest 2019, promising the community a vibrant, bigger and better programme than ever before.

This year’s event, which will be the seventh year of the festival, takes place on Saturday, June 22 and will see a tram return to Tallaght Main Street for the first time in 87 years.

Tallafest seeks to energise the village and to celebrate its heritage, arts, culture and creativity for families.

Since first launching in 2013, Tallafest has grown in both size and popularity and is a much-anticipated date on the local calendar.

It is organised by a team of volunteers and the programme includes a wide range of free activities – from guided history walks and art exhibitions to imaginative child’s play and an afternoon of live entertainment on the main stage.

The return of the tram – a replica of a 100-year-old model pictured above – will give locals a unique opportunity to go back in time and experience what travel was like in Tallaght before Dublin Bus and the Luas, and comes courtesy of the National Transport Museum.

From August 1, 1888, the Dublin and Blessington Steam Tramway ran from Terenure, where it joined up with the city’s horse tram system, to Blessington via Tallaght village.

In 1896 the line was extended to Poulaphouca.

With the introduction of buses in the 1920s, the commercial viability of the tram was undermined and in December 1932 the Dublin and Blessington Tramway was closed.

Tara De Buitlear, the festival’s Director of Fun, said this year TCC has excelled itself:

“Tallafest 2019 has a bigger programme again this year which includes some really unique and one-off attractions for Tallaght.

“It is now the largest free community event in Tallaght. TCC work very hard for months to ensure the festival brings new and exciting creative, cultural and collaborative activities for the community to enjoy.

“To achieve this, we constantly work with our partners such as Dublin Fire Brigade, national museums, An Taisce and the creative industry, as well as local groups such as Tallaght Community Arts, SDCC, Tallaght Town FC, TUD, Tallaght Campus and Partas.

“Local businesses are also very supportive and they are becoming more actively involved, year on year,” she said.

Other exciting events to look forward to are The Big Dig, also coming to Tallaght for the first time as part of Tallafest 2019, which will allow families to experience what it is like to dig and discover local history.

The Tallafest U11s Soccer tournament and Active Seniors Hub continue to get bigger and better and under the watchful eye of Sinead Tighe, an Inclusion Hub will join the festival programme of activities this June.

Tallafest is now open for registrations for community info stands, craft vendors, live stage performers and festival volunteer stewards.

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