Unfortunately, our annual Garden Fete will not be taking place again this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The principle reason for cancelling was public safety, under Covid-19 Government Restrictions. As the vaccines are 'rolled out' across the country we look forward to a return to 'normal' parish life. The Fete is a large public outdoor event held in the confined space of the garden at the rectory at Durrus. We feel it would be almost impossible to arrange such an event and to monitor and guarantee social distancing.
The annual Durrus Fete is the biggest family event in West Cork, and the largest fete to take place outside the city of Dublin. Held every year in the garden of the Rectory of the Church of Ireland in Durrus, the Fete is one of the highlights of the West Cork summer.
Thanks to a hard-working team, and massive community support, this event has grown in popularity over the last decade, and visitor numbers attending have now reached no fewer than 1,250 adults and 700 children on the day of the Fete. In its unique way, the Durrus Fete is today one of the major West Cork Festivals.
The Fete is unique in being a hugely successful community event that relies entirely on a willing team of volunteers, local men and women who erect the marquees, bake for the cake stall, fund-rise to assist with costs, and who then man the stalls during the Fete, before dismantling everything the following day.
No other Fete so clearly demonstrates community spirit, and that community spirit is then echoed by the support not just of locals who attend, but also by the many visitors and tourists from afar who come along to sample the vivacious spirit of the Fete. Queues form of regular visitors who return year after year, eager to enjoy the quintessential example of a community at play, and at work.
What happens at the Fete?
Organised around the 2-acre garden of the Durrus Rectory, the Fete encompasses three distinct places to eat - a garden lunch, a barbecue, and afternoon tea. A fabulous cake stall presents the most vivid taste of West Cork in the form of superb local baking.To ensure that family fun is always at a premium, the children’s entertainments are always extremely fairly priced, and throughout the garden there are great value games for children, with the bouncing castles costing 5 euro for unlimited time, all the other games are 20 cent. Parents can relax and enjoy the Fete knowing their children are safe, and are having the time of their lives. Other stalls include an obstacle course, a massive bric a brac stall with multifarious objects contributed by locals, books, a bottle stall, a children’s games tent, and there are many children’s games dotted throughout the grounds. Visitors enjoy free parking, with transport to the rectory provided by West Cork Rural Transport. Local musicians play throughout the day, adding to the unique atmosphere of the occasion.