I’m delighted to report that World Fiddle Day got off to a ripping start here in Castleisland last night.

Browne’s Bar hosted the opening night of what promised to be a wonderful weekend of the music most favoured in this neck-of-the-woods.

This is the first real ‘toe-in-the-water’ event for the organisers and the fact that the first night is down and behind them is a bonus in itself; the fact that it went brilliantly will be deeply satisfying for them. It bodes well for the trip up to Scartaglin later on today where we’re expecting more of the same and a surprise to boot.

That the weather is so obliging will make the Scart event extra special. The green itself, and the lovely and ever improving appearance of my mother’s native village, will be a perfect setting for the hugely cultural event about to descend on it.

If the musicians and fans feel at home there, then they will surely have ‘touched base’ with the hallowed history of the walls that sheltered Patrick O’Keeffe so many times during his eventful life and times. Where he was visited, sought out and found by the likes of: Willie Clancy, Séamus Ennis and where Liam Clancy took that ever so famous photograph of him with the ‘Medium’ and the bow.

I will arise and go now and take something for the self infliction of last night and get in order for the wonderful day and night that’s stretching away out ahead of us.

A recap on what’s on in Scartaglin today for the floating voters. 

The idea of the commemoration of the 1969 recording of ‘The Star above the Garter’ is as intriguing as it’s appealing to the musicians and their followers who are expected to flock to Scart  this afternoon.

Needless to say, all the great exponents of the fiddle and other instruments indigenous to the Sliabh Luachra area will be fondly remembered on the occasion.

The open sessions will get under way there in Fleming’s, Lyons’s and O’Connor’s bars on Saturday at 2pm. The Scartaglin Heritage Centre will also host an afternoon of events to compliment the style of the programme in the local pubs.

Lyons’s Bar will then host the centre-piece of the weekend just after 4-30pm.  There, a surprise – of a historical nature – will be sprung on those in attendance.

The coming generation of musicians will have their moment in the sun too as Joanna Moynihan’s amazing reproduction of the ‘The Star’ LP cover will be unveiled in Lyons’s.

At 4.30pm all fiddle players and their fiddles to assemble at the statue for a commemorative photograph.

At 4.45pm. the presentation of a fiddlers photographic collection to Ned Vaughan in Lyons’s Bar.  This will be followed by a talk and ‘the surprise’  by Nicky McAuliffe and ‘The  Star Above The Garter’ tribute. Saturday night: Taxi / bus to Castleisland  at 8pm to 9pm.

Browne’s Bar will host Connie O Connell and Eibhlin DePaor and they will welcome musicians to join them at 10pm. At Kearney’s  at 10pm Con Moynihan, Denis O Connor and Aidan Connolly will welcome musicians to join them there. And at 10pm in Tom McCarthy’s Kitchen ,  Mick Culloty, Mike Rice and friends will also invite a gathering to join them. There will be a scattering session at Kearney’s Bar on Sunday at 12noon and we’ll see after that. Im still think that the ‘All Sails Aloft’ approach is best for weekends like this.

Fair play to PJ Teahan and his team. As they round the bend for the home straight they can feel well pleased with themselves.