THERE were smiles all round recently in the Castle Park for Lá Sugradh, a free family fun day.
Organised by Kilkenny County Childcare Committee with partners, Kilkenny Castle, OPW, Kilkenny County Council, Kilkenny Sports and Recreation Partnership and HSE, the event was a huge success again this year with almost 500 children and their families attending on the day from all over the city and county. It was hosted to promote outdoor fun and as part of the celebrations to support National Play Day.
There were lots of activities planned with children and families in mind and these were dotted all around Castle Park.
Animal Magic were back, entertaining everyone with their amazing collection of birds of prey as well as many reptiles, rabbits, hedgehogs and a smiling frog! It was an opportunity for children to hear amazing stories about rescued animals and the importance of caring for our wild animals as well as our pets.
The magician Ray Shannon held the crowd spellbound with his fun and magic while at the arts and craft stations children were busy making and doing. Niall de Burca the very popular storyteller held children and their parents enthralled with his stories and antics while Mark Nolan and Catriona Mc Cabe from Green Bee Education took many eager people of all ages on a bug hunt through the woodland.
Children also had a chance to plant their own nasturtium seed and bring it home with them to care for and watch it grow into a flowering plant. This year the Kilkenny branch of the Campaign for Children organised a treasure hunt for the children as well as disseminating information about the campaign and taking the opportunity to discuss this very important issue of children’s rights with members of the public.
Added to the above there was Tai Chi, playdough, traditional games and sports activities. It was a day packed with interest for all ages. Also in attendance were the HSE’s Health Promotion Unit, and a station with lots of information and free hi visibility jackets and other items from the Road Safety Authority.
A raffle was held also with prizes sponsored by the OPW, Cineplex, Ormonde Hotel and the Watershed. ‘We come to Lá Sugradh every year’ said one happy parent with three young children ‘we wouldn’t miss it, it’s just great and is its free!’
The organisers would like to thank the army personnel at Stephens Barracks who provided some equipment for the event and a the many volunteers who helped to make Lá Sugradh a wonderful day.