The Southern Festival of Flowers is a new venture which has blossomed within the Southern Mission Partnership after the highly successful Manx Heritage Flower Festival was held for the final time last year.
The festival will form part of the Manx National Week celebrations and has been fortunate to secure Duncan Lawrie Private Bankers as main sponsors for the event, with a selection of smaller businesses connected with the south of the Island and local families helping to sponsor individual churches.
Scattered throughout the area, the flower festival brings together venues from both the town and the countryside, including Rushen Abbey in Ballasalla and the Old Grammar School situated in Castletown courtesy of Manx National Heritage. Each building has adopted its own theme, which allows individual venues to express themselves freely, unrestricted by an encompassing theme. This has led to some inspired choices, which are also reflected in many of the special events which have been organised in conjunction with the flower festival. This includes listening to the poetry of the celebrated T. E. Brown and the music of M. L. Wood, tea and bonnag to keep visitors fuelled between venues and Bach with burgers for those who prefer something a little unusual!
Participating churches are well distributed throughout the parishes, but include many opportunities for home-made refreshments, with visitors encouraged to visit St Peter’s at Cregneash, The Howe, Port Erin Methodist Church, St Cairbre’s with Colby Methodist, Abbey Church in Ballasalla and St Mary’s on the Harbour in the ancient capital of Castletown.
There’s also a chance for budding photographers to take part in a competition sponsored by talented Manx photographer Vicky Harrop and for children to enter a painting competition sponsored by local supermarket chain Shoprite.
© June 2011 (inc photos)