(Well the best since last year’s Rockin’ Road Festival anyway)
It’s that time of year again. There’s stuff happening every weekend, Dublin has come alive again and we’re spoiled for choice. It’s actually impossible for us to go everywhere and sample everything!
Some events have become annual fixtures in my disabled daughter’s calendar of weekend activities, like the garden festival Bloom that takes place at the end of May.
But it’s good to go to something new and different, so I was very excited for both of us when I heard about Africa Day, to be held in the familiar grounds of Farmleigh House in Dublin’s Phoenix Park.
The event was free to enter, and you could pass a happy day there without spending a cent, if you brought your own picnic. No champagne and caviar though: it was strictly alcohol-free.
B and I arrived soon after it opened, and easily got parking and avoided the massive traffic jams that we saw when we left mid afternoon (we would have stayed all day, but once again lack of a Changing Place meant we had to go home so B could use the toilet).
So what is Africa Day, for anyone unlucky enough not to be there? Well, it was like the best party you’ve ever been at: it had everything: music, dancing, food, and lots and lots of colour, exuberance and joy, and more happy smiles than you’d see at a wedding. Everyone was everyone else’s friend and determined that a good time was had by all.
There were three zones, based around three stages: you could call them the food zone, the kiddy zone and the party zone. We sampled all of them and there’s no prizes for guessing which one we liked the best!
We headed for the food zone first and pottered around the stalls before eating our lunch in front of one of the early performers. This area was not wheelchair friendly, being in a very bumpy field, yet the furthest corner housed a bank of Portaloos, including a very welcome wheelchair loo – I wonder how many people were able to access it though? (There is also a permanent disabled toilet at Farmleigh that is accessible).
We relaxed for a while in the kiddy zone enjoying more music and the parade of costumes.
And then we discovered the party zone, and we could have stayed there all day.
But the music and dancing wasn’t only on the stages, oh no! It was everywhere…
In front of the stalls in the food zone:
In the courtyard:
And of course, in the audience in the party zone.
You really really should have been there…