With so many festivals around, it’s kind of difficult to choose a top 10 for 2009. However these summer sizzlers certainly won’t disappoint! So whether it’s the Rose of Tralee, the Galway Summer Racing Festival or A Taste of Dublin, one thing’s for sure, you’ll certainly have a great time and no doubt be busy planning next year’s festival whilst still recovering from the one you’ve just been at!
Dates: 20th August to the 24th of August 2010.
“She was lovely and fair as the rose of the summer, Yet ’twas not her beauty alone that won me;”
The lyrics really say it all! This is not your stereotypical beauty pageant – the festival celebrates women from all corners of the world. The contestants are judged on personality and charisma and of course they must have a connection to Ireland as well.
Over 5 days visitors will enjoy colourful parades, street entertainment, pipe bands, fire works, the circus, the funfair and of course lots of opportunities to meet and greet the roses.
The dates never change – it will always be August 10, 11, and 12, every year, rain, hail or shine. And the main focus is the coronation of King Puck (a wild mountain goat), by Queen Puck (a local young girl of about 12 years old).
What can you expect – well once you cross over the bridge at the end of Killorglin, you can definitely feel the festival buzz in the air. Over the 3 days (and very lively nights) there is the traditional horse and cattle fair, street entertainment, the funfair, parades and much more.
Dates: 12th June to the 27th June, 2010.
Plenty to do at this Festival for all the family, with street theatre, circus shows, comedy shows, visual arts, a programme of gigs to suit a variety of musical tastes, and theatre performances, all guaranteed to get that summer Festival atmosphere going in Cork.
Keep an eye out for the unusual in the Festivals events guide – you might be lucky/unlucky (depending on your own personal tastes) and stumble upon “a works in progress” – for example last year locals were given the opportunity to participate in an installation by world renowned artist Spencer Tunick!
Dates: 6th August to the 15th August, 2010.
With more than 80,000 visitors coming to this annual festival, the sweet smell of success is truly in the air for Kilkenny Arts Festival.
What started out as a festival founded by classical music fans now has a huge programme of events which include artists from theatre and dance, street entertainment, visual arts, jazz, film and literature.
The organisers certainly kept the youth of today in mind with a full programme of events for young people.
Dates: 16th to 23nd August 2010.
Tullamore has bagged the prize for a 3rd year in a row as it plays host once again to this marvellous celebration of Irish music and culture.
Since its inception in 1951, the Fleadh has come a long way and is now a meeting point for approximately 10,000 musicians from all over the world.
What can you expect? Once the competitions are out of the way, enjoy céilithe, parades, street session, as well as concerts featuring traditional Irish song, music and dance.
Dates: 23rd August to 25th August 2010.
Sample world music at a local level – 250,000 people did last year! Enjoy a jam-packed programme of concert nights, street events, workshops, club nights and so much more. Festival organisers aim to provide a venue for the talents of modern day cosmopolitan Ireland.
Dates: 26th July to 1st August 2010.
What is it about Galway Races Summer Racing Festival that makes it the place to be?
Not just a few days for “putting your shirt on your favourite horse” but there’s also themed days such as Ladies Day, a chance for all you ladies to get “glammed up” and put on your finery!
There’s also Mad Hatters Day – the name just says it all! If you come up with an idea for the craziest hat you stand a good chance of bagging the prize.
Still not won anything? Then why not try the race card competition. Fill the form on the back of your race card and hope for the best and last but by no means least that losing ticket for the horse you thought was a sure thing – just jot down your name on the back and there’s another chance you may not go home empty handed.
All this and a full day’s horse racing into the bargain as well!
Dates: 10th June to 13th June 2010
Calling all of you who just love a gastronomical treat – please make your way to Taste of Dublin food festival for some wonderful culinary delights.
There’s a chance of seeing celebrity chefs in action at the chef demonstration theatre; or you could learn which cocktail should be shaken instead of stirred; or pick up some handy tips at the cookery school; or sample unique signature dishes and acquire the knowledge of telling what a good wine should taste like.
The Bloomsday Festival runs from the 12th to the 16th of June 2010 (dates subject to change). The 16th of June (Bloomsday) is the most important day of the celebrations for Joyceans.
The festival honours the life and works of one of Ireland’s most famous authors, James Joyce.
Avid Joyce fans even dress up for the 16th of June and trace the steps taken by the characters of Ulysses.
There’s no official programme of events for this festival, it all depends on sheer luck and stumbling upon an event.
Dates: 12th of July to the 25th of July 2010.
With this festival participants have to apply to take part by submitting a DVD and all related material of their performance/production to the Festival Artistic Director.
The festival has been running since 1978 and features International and National artists performing dance, music, literature, comedy sketches and theatre. Local Art Galleries hold exhibitions during this time also.
A fortnight packed with events and without doubt there is something here for all the family. The highlight for most is probably the highly entertaining Macnas Festival Parade, a major feat in itself as between 300 and 400 people take part on the night.
And when night falls you can party on in Galway’s pubs and clubs.
Hopefully this will help you decide where you want to go this summer. Should you need somewhere to stay we have an excellent selection of hotels, guesthouses, B&B’s and self catering properties to choose from.
Take a look at our Ireland accommodation page.
What’s your favourite Irish summer festival? We’d love to hear from you – just drop us a line in the comment box below.