The LAMA Community and Council National awards took place in Dublin on the 9th of Feb. These national awards recognise and celebrate Community and Councils working together, providing a great opportunity to highlight the work done within communities. Kenmare's Halloween Howl festival which was nominated in the Best Arts/Culture (incl. festivals & events) won Gold for their amazing Halloween Howl festival. Moira Murrell CEO of Kerry County Council and the Mayor of Kerry, Norma Foley attended the event to accept the award on behalf of Kenmare.
The Kenmare Marketing and Events Group (KMEG) set up the festival in 2012. The objective of the festival was to grow the tourism offering. Kenmare realised that they couldn't sit back and wait for tourists to come, instead they needed to give them a reason to come to Kenmare. The festival was started as a way to address that need. From the Halloween Howl other events have flourished in the town, the Ring of Beara Cycle Kenmare and the Kenmare Bastille Day celebrations among many others. These events and initiatives have all helped to achieve year round tourism business for Kenmare.
Helen McDwyer, for the festival says “I am so proud of all the hard work the community of Kenmare puts into this event year after year. It is a festival that truly captures the amazing community spirit that we have in Kenmare, something we can all be very proud of. People often see Halloween as an American tradition but it was brought to America by Irish emigrants. The carved pumpkins were originally turnips! The support that the festival receives from local businesses, clubs, and individuals, the Kerry Tourism Unit and the Kerry Arts Office of Kerry County Council and Fáilte Ireland is really appreciated. We always work best when we work together! Kenmare Abu! Well done to everyone on this incredible achievement.”