The annual Irish Redhead Convention brings together redheads from Ireland and abroad for games centered around red hair in Crosshaven, Co Cork. 

For the first time, the convention, which is in its fourth year, will take place over a weekend, August 23-25. Activities at this year’s convention include redhead photography booths, art exhibitions and performances by redhead artists, and redhead themed film screenings. There will also be family competitions including “longest red hair,” “best red beard,” “largest redhead family,” and “furthest traveled redhead.” The 2013/14 King and Queen of the Gingers will be crowned. For those who are not redheads, there will be optional red hair dyeing.

The convention began as a family joke while brainstorming ideas for Dennis Cronin’s 2010 birthday party. He and sister Joleen, both redheads, joked about only inviting redheads and what activities they would do at the party. After receiving encouragement from family and friends, they made the party a reality in 2010. People came from across Ireland to participate and support the Irish Cancer Society, which receives proceeds from the event.

At past conventions redheads participated in events such as the freckle counting contest, orange lawn bowling and carrot tossing. Last year the Cronin’s added the Ginger Chef’s Cook-Off. Joleen said on The Gathering’s website, “The best events are definitely the ones that show our sense of Irishness and ability to poke fun at ourselves.”

About 1,000 people, both redheads and people of other hair colors, traveled from around Ireland and abroad to attend last year’s convention on August 18th. The event raised $3144 for the Irish Cancer Society.

Joleen hopes that some famous redheads will attend the 2013 convention. She said, “What I really want is Edna Kenny to come down because he’s a redhead. I want him to give the opening speech in front of the village square with all the redheads gathered. And then I want some redhead celebrities, like comedian Tom Minchin and musician Ed Sheeran . . . or to have Paul O’Connell come down and sign rugby balls- or oranges- for kids. Or Bosco. I’d love to have Bosco down.”

Watch a video for the convention here: