August Bank Holiday Shenanigans
Time flies when you’re having fun and I think everyone in Ireland has been having fun in the sun these past few weeks. How could we not enjoy basking in the sunshine beneath blue skies, the smell of BBQ’s lingering in the air? I was beginning to think our little island had taken a journey south.
With all the excitement, it seems the August Bank Holiday has crept up on us and, alas, it hails the end of summer. However, we can console ourselves with the fact that once the children return to school, our Indian summer will begin.
As usual, the towns and counties of Ireland will throw a party, lots of them for the bank holiday weekend. There will be music, dance, exhibitions, wine tasting, circus, acrobatics and even a gathering of the funkiest scarecrows in Ireland. The hardest part of it all? Picking where to go.
This morning, on Ireland AM,(watch here) I covered a few of the festivals happening around the country this weekend. Details are all below. For other events, check out Discover Ireland website.
Dates: 2nd – 4th August 2013
It’s a big celebration this year down in Waterford, with Spraoi Festival celebrating its 21st Birthday. This is a top family event, with lots going on for adults and the little ones. Littered around Waterford city will be every type of street theatre you can imagine; puppet shows, acrobats, aerial circus, juggling and a gigantic parade packed with over 200 characters and all topped with dramatic fireworks. Music will be played in most of the pubs and venues around the city and there will also be a science themed festival for kids taking place at the Garter Lane Arts Centre. If it’s a carnival atmosphere you’re after, you won’t find anything better! Three days with over 250 free events. I have to confess, this is one of my favourites. I love the whole circus theme. Sign me up!
Dates: 25th July – 3rd August
The packed programme kicks off on Friday running throughout the week and into the bank holiday weekend. The programme has something for everyone; music with Mary Coughlan, Simon Morgan and opera singer Claudia Boyle. You can also join talks with authors including Michael Harding and Mary O’Rourke. If it’s theatre you’re after, there will be a range of performances and of course, the little ones will not be forgotten. Storytelling and drama and art workshops for children, face painting, bouncy castles and lots of free events!
Dates: 2nd – 4th August, 2013
Set on the grounds of the Deer Farm in Mitchellstown, the festival has an impressive line-up including a host of international and national bands who will also be interviewed in the Hotpress tent. The comedy tent is headlined by Colm O’Regan and joined by a rake of established and up and coming comedians bound to give you a giggle. The more active can take part in some belly dancing, yoga or other dance workshops, while the literary amongst you should check out the poetry slam which should be fab! Families are welcome at the festival and there are a host of family events and they’ve even hidden away a family camp area so the little ones won’t be disturbed by the late night music!
Costs: €79 for 3 days or €99 for 3 days including camping
Dates: 2nd – 4th August 2013
Taking place on the grounds of the 17th century Charleville Castle in Tullamore, the location of the festival itself is quite magical. I’ve been promising to go to this every year, but something always seems to crop up. Keeping the festival numbers on the smaller scale has created an intimate and quirky feel. Ticketholders can wander through the rooms of the castle, taking part in workshops, browsing the exhibitions or simply soaking up the atmosphere.
The lineup includes:
Workshops – dance, film, art, drumming and music
Exhibitions – film and art
Music – bands and DJ’s will be playing throughout the day, right into the early hours – Ghostpoet, Le Galaxie
Charity Cycle – from Carton House to Tullamore (75 kms) in aid of Oxfam
Cost: €35 for one day or from €50 for 3 days including camping
Dates: 28thJuly – 5th August
This has to be the coolest, quirkiest festival I’ve come across. Who wouldn’t want to go see over 150 of Ireland’s scariest scarecrows competing for the title of Ireland’s best scarecrow?
The festival will run a children’s Summer Camp over the course of the week where the little ones can do dancing classes, arts and crafts, music and sport, while the teens can congregate in the Teen Zone and partake in make-up and nail workshops, ceramics and drama.
The programme is not just about the Scarecrows, there will be arts and crafts, live music, workshops, demonstrations and even some wrestling!
Dates: 25th July – 9th August 2013
Yeats lovers should make their way to Sligo over the next week for the celebration of the work of the much loved Yeats brothers. 19 days of music, theatre, readings and fun. Dramatised readings of nine plays from Blue Raincoat Theatre Company, Ruth Lehane’s award winning new play, The Lehane Trilogy, a major Jack B Yeats exhibition at The Model, music from Frankie Gavin and Friends, Steve Wickham, The Lost Brothers and The Henry Girls along with acclaimed poets and authors Seamus Heaney, John Banville, Maureen McLane, Paula Meehan and Stephen James Smith. Lots not to miss!