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Redheads descend on Co Cork for convention to celebrate all things ginger

The three day event starts August 21 -23

By Claire Williamson

Published 21/08/2015

A huge crowd of natural redheads celebrate with the newly crowned King and Queen, Gary Fitzgibbon from Crosshaven and Laura-May Keohane from Kinsale, at the Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven.
The Irish Redhead Convention is a whacky, ginger-loving celebration of everything to do with red hair and will take place from 21 - 23 August this year in Crosshaven, Co Cork
Pic: Diane Cusack
A huge crowd of natural redheads celebrate with the newly crowned King and Queen, Gary Fitzgibbon from Crosshaven and Laura-May Keohane from Kinsale, at the Irish Redhead Convention in Crosshaven. The Irish Redhead Convention is a whacky, ginger-loving celebration of everything to do with red hair and will take place from 21 - 23 August this year in Crosshaven, Co Cork Pic: Diane Cusack
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Calling all redheads - this weekend there is a celebration dedicated to your fiery hair and freckles.

The Irish Redhead Convention - a wacky event rejoicing in all things ginger gets underway tonight

For the past six years the small coastal village of Crosshaven in Co Cork turns into a sea of red - as thousands of redheads gather from corners of the globe for the unique festival.

And it's all for a good cause as the Convention, which began a friendly joke between redheaded siblings Joleen and Denis Cronin, is also a fundraiser for the Irish Cancer Society.

Red hair is the rarest of hair colours and accounts for just 0.6% of the global population.

Ireland has the second highest per capita population of redheads at 10%, next only to Scotland at 13%. The United States is believed to have less than 2% of redheads.

Among those heading to the festival this weekend is BBC Northern Ireland weatherman and presenter Barra Best - who will be experiencing the extravaganza for the first time.

He told the Belfast Telegraph: "There was quite a few redheads last night and the dark haired people we spoke to have all been told they have to get wigs. We are here now with two brown haired friends who have come with us, for support if you like, walking about the city centre looking for a wig shop to get them ginger wigs for tomorrow."

Barra said it's the "novelty" of the event that draws people to it.

He said: "Gingers have always been teased and that kind of thing, I was in a banter kind of way. This is the first time, in terms of hair colour that I'lll be at an event where I'm in the majority."

Barra Best
Barra Best

The presenter said it will be "weird" seeing so many red-haired people in the one place at the one time.

He said: "It's going to be weird. Looking at photographs from last year, you are looking at them going,  'I've never seen so many gingers in one place at once'

"A few of us will be nominated in the competition categories. I'm going to go for most freckles per square inch so we'll see how that works out."

Red-heads have travelled from far and wide to attend the convention - with one woman coming all the way from New York.

"There are a few  people we met last night from Germany and the Netherlands and another lady comes from New York which I found hard to believe.

"But she is part of a ginger festival that happens in New York so she's come over this way to see what it's like. So it's kind of gone international," said Barra.

So just what can the redhaired festival goers expect?

Carrot-tossing, ginger speed-dating, freckle counting, redhead parade, cinema screenings, certificates of genuine foxiness and the coronation of the Redhead King and Queen are just some of the treats available.

There is also a music stage Foxygen which is reserved just for gingers.

The on-site Redhead cinema will include short movie screenings all about red hair.

The Convention is a family friendly event catering to all ages.

For full details visit redheadconvention.ie

Famous redheads who could pop-in to the convention?

Ed Sheeran

Tim Minchin

Janet Devlin

Emma Stone

Donald Trump

Nicola Roberts

Rupert Grint

Prince Harry

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From Belfast Telegraph