This 1,200 year old Viking town has got it all this summer: history, arts, sports and agriculture
Wexford, Ireland’s model county is one of the top spots if you are looking for a niche festival or two, with history, arts, sports and agriculture all on its programme events over the summer…
Immrama, The Lismore Festival of Travel Writing 2016
16 – 19 June | Various Venues around Lismore, Co. Waterford
The annual festival is the only one of its kind in the world, focusing on travel writing and literature, a different theme is explored annually. The programme includes literary presentations by top national and international travel writers and bi-lingual workshops. It also builds on the historical past of the town as Lismore contained a seat of learning 1,000 years ago. The book of Lismore was found in Lismore Castle in early 1800s and contains a translation in Irish of the travels of Marco Polo. www.lismoreimmrama.com
Byrne Perry History and Heritage Festival
24 – 26 June | Gorey, Co. Wexford
This incorporates the long established Summer School, running since 1995, and includes local historical, heritage and cultural events. The theme of the Summer School will be ‘1916 – What happened Next?’ which will focus on the political changes that occurred locally and nationally in the immediate aftermath of the Rising and up to the General Election of December 1918. A panel of diverse and expert speakers from the academic and political worlds will discuss this topic.
There will be a series of discussions, workshops, exhibitions and tours throughout the weekend on various aspects of local history and heritage. On the Friday and Saturday evening a program of traditional music, song and storytelling will take place in the town. The weekend’s events have been designed to attract both the ordinary citizen with a casual curiosity about heritage and historical events, and those with a deeper personal, professional or academic interest.
Strawberry – Culture & Food Fest
22 – 26 June | The Promenade and various venues, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford
A family friendly festival with County Wexford strawberries, the Wexford Literary Festival, the Strawberry Roots Music Trail and the All-Ireland Farmers Market Food competition – all hosted by the 48th Strawberry Queen. Enjoy days with freshly picked strawberries and cream to be devoured whilst listening to great music, viewing art, attending literary events and seeing the All-Ireland Farmers Market Competition. Join the Princesses competing to be the Strawberry Queen when they visit the free children’s events such as the Teddy Bears Picnic, the Secret Fairy Garden and the Strawberry Queen Disco at the Castle.
Better still, come and meet them at the Strawberry Ball Opening Night, the Carlsberg Pub Talent, Focal-Wexford Literary Festival and Strawberry Roots. The main evening events celebrate the lush, mouthwatering strawberry will be hosted in the restored Athenaeum – the historic meeting place for the 1916 Rebellion Leaders. Enjoy the photographic displays, walk the streets made famous in the 2015 film ‘Brooklyn’, and be entertained with the Strawberry Roots Music Trail. www.strawberryfest.ie
Wexford Maritime Festival 2016
25 – 26 June | Wexford Town, Co. Wexford
The festival celebrates Wexford’s rich maritime heritage and Wexford-born Commodore John Barry, Father of the US Navy. Events throughout the weekend include maritime activities, visiting boats, children’s activities, artisan food, live music and entertainment. Enjoy watching traditional boats racing along Wexford harbour; or take part in fun raft races, kayaking, canoeing, power boating or try a sub aqua dive. See the visiting boats or be amazed at the fly-boarder soaring through the air. Watch the skills of the Search and Rescue helicopters, lifeboats and other services as they demonstrate various rescue scenarios. Marvel at the detail of the model boats in the Maritime Village or chat to the many Emergency Services personnel demonstration their equipment and skills at the Emergency Services Village. Children can enjoy dance and musical activities, arts and crafts, science workshops, circus workshops and shows at the Children’s Village. Discover Wexford’s Viking past in the Viking tent where children can try their hand at brass rubbing and sword making. www.wexfordmaritimefestival.ie
Feile Brian Ború
30 June – 03 July | Various venues in Killaloe, Co. Clare & Ballina, Co. Tipperary
Féile Brian Ború is an annual festival commemorating Ireland’s Greatest High King, Brian Ború, in his native place. Experience a variety of fun activities including historical guided tours on lake and land; a stunning fireworks display over the River Shannon; traditional craft experience & workshops; traditional street games; a garden party; events for the animal lover; children’s art competition; art exhibitions & displays; street theatre; live music; table quiz; farmers’ market; Shannon swim and water sports. The beauty of the picturesque twin towns of Killaloe and Ballina await you with four days of unrivaled fun and entertainment this summer. www.feilebrianboru.com
Art in The Open
25 July – 1st August | Wexford Town, Co. Wexford
Art In The Open is a plein air painting festival based in Wexford but travels to different locations during the week. Artists worldwide register online and are entitled to submit work produced to an exhibition, where all paintings are for sale and can be considered for awards. Registered artists are also entitled to attend free lectures and social events. Workshops and demonstrations with leading international plein air artists can be booked and paid for in advance. For a small fee, artists can also practice life drawing on two evenings.
Every year a Quick-Draw event is held in Wexford town with artists’ entry fees being donated to charity. Artists can win prizes sponsored by local businesses and sell their work, on the spot, off the easel. At the end of the festival artists can celebrate and enjoy socialising together at a sit-down meal. The exhibition usually runs for two days and so allows artists to collect unsold paintings before departure. Telephone: +353(0)858394114
Waterford Spraoi International Street Arts Festival
29 – 31 July | Various Venues in Waterford City
This transforms the heart of Ireland’s oldest city with an annual feast of contemporary culture and entertainment. A festival highlight is the annual SpraoiParade, where hundreds of locals dress in exotic costumes and parade through the city’s medieval streets at night accompanied by amazing floats, live music, lighting, special-effects. This stunning spectacle concludes with fireworks launched from the River Suir which runs through the city. Waterford’s historic-quarter The Viking Triangle is at the heart of the action, offering street performances, music and activities. Waterford Spraoi is a crossgenerational festival; performers and audiences are of all ages. Spraoi Festival offers contemporary culture in historic settings – it’s a city at play and well worth visiting. www.spraoi.com
Kilkenny Arts Festival 2016
05 – 14 August | Various locations around Kilkenny city
Kilkenny Arts Festival was originally founded in 1974 by a group of classical music enthusiasts. In recent years, the festival has broadened its programme to include theatre & dance, classical music, street, literature and visual art and craft. The city’s oldest and largest non-profit festival now draws more than 50,000 visitors annually who come and partake in all that Kilkenny has to offer. So come to Kilkenny, be part of the festival and experience the Arts in a way you will never forget! www.kilkennyarts.ie
Tri the Hook Sprint Triathalon
20 August | Baginbun Beach, Fethard-on-Sea, New Ross, Co. Wexford
The scenic Hook Peninsula in South East Ireland will host the fifth annual Tri the Hook Sprint Triathlon this August. Part of the Vodafone National Series race calendar, the event will attract 350 triathletes from across Ireland and abroad, including some of the country’s top amateur competitors. Participants swim out at the historic Baginbun Beach, cycle a technical route through the village of Fethard-on-Sea and through Templetown. By the site of the Knight’s Templar’s headquarters, they run across the cliffs overlooking Carnivan Bay and on through rural country roads to finish up outside the village. For more information, see trithehook.com or Facebook page.
Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival
5th August – 28th August | Dunmore East, Co. Waterford
The 22nd annual bluegrass Festival is set to get the beautiful coastal village of Dunmore Easthoopin’, hollerin’, pickin’ and clawin’, once again. This festival is a Mecca for music fans the world over who descend on this corner of the sunny south east to listen to authentic bluegrass. www.discoverdunmore.com