The first winners are about to be announced in Orlando in the next few minutes, as the first day of the North American Irish Dancing Championships 2010 draws to a close.

There was competition today in the Ladies Under 20 and Under 19 categories, Girls Under 15, Girls Under 10, Men Under 20 and Senior Men.

And one judge has already told that she was literally “bowled over” by the level of competition at this year’s event.

Just before the winners were due to be announced, and immediately after the incoming Mid Atlantic Region committee was introduced to the crowd, Mickey and Minnie Mouse made a surprise appearance to screams of delight from the audience’s many children.

Mickey and Minnie stayed on for ten minutes taking pictures with delighted children as parents relished the moment.

Moments before Fidelmia Davis, one of the last surviving founders of the The Irish Dancing Teachers Association of North America (IDTANA) made an emotional speech paying tribute to the organizers of this year’s event, while the new committee of the organization’s Mid Atlantic Region were introduced to an enthusiastic crowd.

Parents - still smiling after the Disney characters’ surprise visit - said that the day had been exhausting but that it had been enjoyable nonetheless. A Mexican parent told of flight delays, endless preparation, and soft tissue injuries, but said that it had all been worth it in the end.

A further update tonight will include the winners from day one of the competiton.