The second-ever Redhead Convention took place in the County Cork town recently, attended by around 1,000 people, 500 of whom had the requisite ginger locks.
Joleen and Denis Cronin, whose parents run Cronin’s Pub in the town, held the first Redhead Convention last Summer after the genetically ginger pair decided to celebrate their birthday by inviting only those of a similar follicular colour to their own.
“It was a joke, where we were saying we would have a birthday party where we would only invite redheads” explained Joleen, “and it just spiralled from there. It’s a bit of light-hearted fun that raises funds for the Irish Cancer Society.
“About 1,000 people turned up this year – 500 were redheads. We had people from the midlands and Dublin turn up and further away.”
For example, first prize in the Strawberry Cupcake competition went to Rachel Neglia from Canada.
Those of a ginger persuasion received an Official Redhead ‘Certificate of Genuine Foxiness’, a Gingerbread Man and a can of red lemonade. Red-headed revellers were also given a free ticket to Fort Camden, the local tourist attraction.
The Convention included make-up and styling tips for redheads, orange lawn bowling, redhead group photographs, a red balloon race, redhead ‘fast ’n’ foxy’ dinner-dating and freckles competitions.
Julie Ahern from Carrigaline, Co Cork, was crowned Queen of the Redheads while her King of the Redheads became Christopher Duncan from Ballyphehane in Cork. Not to be outdone, Alan Hayes from Dublin’s Palmerstown scooped the award for best red beard.
The day’s events focused on Cronin’s Pub and the Crosshaven Farmers’ Market. While the Convention itself was centred on the village square, Joleen reckons that every business in the immediate vicinity did well from B&Bs to taxis.
As she concentrated all the family activities for the day and finished them at around 10pm, she also reckons that the village’s other seven pubs did well out of it.
Red-tinted ‘Sunburnt Irish Red’ was specially-brewed for the event by brewmasters Cam Wallace and Scott Baigent from Eight Degrees Brewing in north Cork.
Just how much was raised by the event remains to be seen. Less than a week later, Joleen admitted to Drinks Industry Ireland that she was currently tangled up in spreadsheets and accounting columns, profits and losses…. “We’ve no sponsors as such,” she told Drinks Industry Ireland, “but hopefully we made a substantial amount for the Irish Cancer Society”.
The first Convention attracted 350 redheads and raised €3,500 for charity and next year’s Convention is “looking likely” she said, “There’s huge enthusiasm, so it’s ‘Onwards and upwards’ “.