A-maz­ing fun!

Irish Examiner - County - - Front Page - Áilín Quinlan

Hun­dreds of chil­dren played hide-and-seek in a pic­turesque straw-bale maze, as part of a pop­u­lar West Cork fes­ti­val.

Hun­dreds of chil­dren — and quite a few adults as well — played hide-and-seek in a pic­turesque straw-bale maze, spe­cially con­structed by lo­cal peo­ple as part of a colour­ful and very pop­u­lar West Cork fes­ti­val.

Some 240 bales, stacked three-high, turned out to be one of the star at­trac­tions of the fes­ti­val’s fam­ily fun day on the fi­nal day of Ban­don’s Walled Town Fes­ti­val.

Ear­lier in the year, when or­gan­is­ers is­sued an SOS through the Ir­ish Ex­am­iner for some­body to do­nate the bales, Kilbrit­tain agri­cul­tural con­trac­tor Tony O’Ma­hony came to the res­cue.

And on the big day it­self, he didn’t let them down — Tony, his son Seán and grand-daugh­ter Ciara de­liv­ered no fewer than 240 bales, from which lo­cal vol­un­teers con­structed the real-life, three-di­men­sional maze on the fi­nal day of the fes­ti­val.

Be­cause of some un­cer­tainty as to whether it would rain or not, it was touch and go for a while — but the weather stayed dry and the maze was built and en­joyed by hun­dreds of chil­dren, ac­cord­ing to Zoe Ten­nyson, a mem­ber of the or­gan­is­ing com­mit­tee be­hind the Fam­ily Fun Day.

“We weren’t sure the maze would go ahead. It was weather-de­pen­dent, but the rain stayed away.

“Tony de­liv­ered the bales in the morn­ing with his son Seán and grand­daugh­ter Ciara and four lo­cal dads build the maze for the young chil­dren. It was amaz­ing,” she said, adding that, de­spite the ap­par­ent com­plex­ity of the task, the canny maze­builders had the whole thing up within an hour.

“Hun­dreds of chil­dren en­joyed it.

“It was there from about 11am un­til 6pm and it was a huge at­trac­tion for the kids; they ab­so­lutely loved it.

“The maze was three bales high and per­fect for the chil­dren,” she said, adding that while some could see over the bales, oth­ers had to nav­i­gate their way through it.

“Many went back again and again — they wanted to stay in the maze all day long,” she said.

Ms Ten­nyson is­sued a grate­ful thanks to Mr O’Ma­hony who also col­lected the bales and helped tidy up at the end of the day.

The fam­ily day also fea­tured the Dowtcha Pup­pet com­pany, a lego work­shop, street per­form­ers and an ar­chae­ol­o­gist, who gave lo­cal chil­dren an in­ter­est­ing talk about the his­tory of Ban­don.

Chil­dren, and quite a few adults as well, played hide-and-seek in a pic­turesque straw-bale maze at the Ban­don’s Walled Town Fes­ti­val.

Des Pren­der­gast and his grand­daugh­ters Roisín and Súin Falvey at the straw-bale maze at the Ban­don’s Walled Town Fes­ti­val.

Pic­tures: Dan Hol­land

A dap­per Michael O’ Hara aged 4 at the hide-and-seek straw-bale maze at the Ban­don’s Walled Town Fes­ti­val.

Hav­ing fun in the bale maze at the Ban­don’s Walled Town Fes­ti­val.

Play­ingd hide-and-seek in a straw-bale maze.

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