Festivals for 2015
Looking ahead to the upcoming holiday season, it’s great to note how much there is to see and do here in Kilkenny, not just in the Summer months, but right throughout the year.
Not only that, but Kilkenny is ideally well situated for easily accessing the events and festivals of our neighbouring counties. It’s no exaggeration to say that there’s plenty for all ages and interests, from gardening to music, from food to cinema, from comedy to kitesurfing.
Here are some of the highlights of the festivals calendar for 2016 in Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford, Wexford and Tipperary.
Snowdrop Week (9-15 February) Altamont Gardens, Co. Carlow
Guided yours showcasing the snowdrop and early flowering Spring bulbs collections
Mother’s Day (15 March) Hook Lighthouse, Co. Wexford
Free tours for all Mothers
St. Patrick’s Day, 17th, Events throughout the South East all week
Waterford New Music Week, (23-29 March)
Performances and workshops for new music and new musicians, www.waterfordnewmusicweek.com
Daffodil Week (23-29 March) Strawhall Estate, Co. Carlow
Guided tours showcasing one of the finest daffodil collections in Ireland.
Lots of Easter themed events over the Easter holidays.
Easter Treasure Hunt (3-6 April), Huntington Castle, Clonegal, Co. Carlow
Easter Treasure Hunt (3-6 April) Nore Valley Open Far, Bennettsbridge, Co. Kilkenny
River Barrow Arts Festival, (Dates TBC) Borris, Co. Carlow
Classical and traditional music, juggling, poetry, visual art
Guinness Feile na nDeise Festival (May Bank Holiday), Dungarvan, Co. Waterford
Traditional music festival, featuring music, song, set dancing, street theatre and the famous Bucket singing competition, www.feilenandeise.com
Smithwicks Kilkenny Roots Festival (1-4 May), Kilkenny City
An international lineup of the best in Americana/Roots music for four days in over 30 venues, with 80 shows, including 50 free events, www.kilkennyroots.com
Maritime Matters Festival (1-4 May) Hook Lighthouse, Co.Wexford
A weekend of maritime activities for young and old; fishing & snorkelling lessons, boat trips, coastguard workshops.
Dunmore East Rambling Festival (9-10 May), Co. Waterford
Featuring the newly opened spectacular cliff walk
AIMS Choral Festival (22-24 May), New Ross
A weekend of choral competition and performance featuring all choral genres from chamber music to barbershop
Éigse Carlow Arts Festival (29 May-7 June), Carlow
A ten-day celebration of visual art, performance, dance, music, literature, street spectacle, craft and film, Éigse Carlow Arts Festival is one of Ireland's largest arts festivals, www.eigsecarlow.ie
Military re-enactment at Duncannon Fort (30-31 May), Duncannon, Co. Wexford
Historical re-enactments from varied times in Irish and World history, including the Irish Civil War and World War II, www.duncannonfort.com
Happy Valley Festival (June Bank Holiday), Thomastown
Traditional and contemporary music, craft and farmers’ markets, art, kayaking, yoga workshops
Clancy Brothers Music and Arts Festival (29 May-1 June), Carrick-On-Suir
Music, theatre, art exhibitions and street theatre celebrating the legacy of world-renowned musicians, the Clancy Brothers, www.clancybrothersfestival.org
Inistioge Summer Fest (June Bank Holiday)
3km fun run, family entertainment, water spheres, pony rides, archery, food and crafts
Cat Laughs International Comedy Festival (1 - 4 June), Kilkenny
It has established a reputation for relaxed shows and performances by leading comedians from these islands, Europe and even America, www.carlsbergcatlaughs.com
Immrama, Lismore Festival Of Travel Writing, Lismore, Waterford, (11-14 June).
Three full days of Literature, arts, music and cultural activities for all interests and ages. Music, literature, readings, performances, street and indoor theatre, exhibitions, art, history, photography and competitions. www.lismoreimmrama.com
Dunmore East Festival of Food and Fish (27-29 June)
Showcasing the best of local, seasonal food, and, of course, seafood.
Clonmel Junction Festival (3-12 July)
An extensive range of events which includes theatre shows for adults, children and families and music events ranging from Jazz to Rock and from World Music to Traditional. www.junctionfestival.com
4th of July Festival (4-6 July), Hook Head, Co. Wexford
Family fun, American football and BBQ, Pirate events in the dramatic setting of Hook Head, www.hookheritage.ie
Carlow Floral Festival Trail (27 July-5 August), Carlow
A great opportunity for gardening enthusiasts to obtain practical advice and tips from Ireland’s top gardening experts, www.carlowtourism.com
Graiguenamanagh Regatta and Rowing Festival (31 July-2 August)
Reputed to be the oldest Regatta on Ireland’s inland waterways. Swimming and diving competitions, racing in 'cots', which are the traditional small fishing craft of the Barrow. Music and family entertainment
Waterford Spraoi Festival (31 July-2 August)
For three days, the streets and quays of Waterford city are transformed into a huge stage featuring an international cast of musicians and street theatre performers. All events are free, www.spraoi.com
Kilkenny Arts Festival (7-16 August)
The fabulous medieval city of Kilkenny makes a stunning backdrop to its annual international arts festival and plays host to some of the world's leading artists and performers in a range of art forms. Widely acclaimed for its unique mix of art forms and venues, this year's festival will feature music - classical, jazz and traditional Irish - visual art, theatre and dance in unusual spaces around the city, literature and film, a full range of events for young people, and outdoor events in the city and county. www.kilkennyarts.ie
Duncannon International Sand Sculpting Festival Competition & Exhibition, Duncannon, Wexford (date TBC)
Sand sculpting competition, beach parties, fireworks, music www.visitduncannon.com
National Heritage Week, (22-30 August), Nationwide.Free entry into most historic sights. www.heritageireland.ie
Dunmore East Bluegrass Festival (22-30 August), Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. Featuring the best of local and international bluegrass music since 1994, www.discoverdunmore.com
Iverk Agricultural Show (22 August)
The Iverk show dates back to 1826 and still flourishes to this day. www.iverkshow.com
Hooked Kitefest and Irish Kitesurfing Championships (22-23 August) Duncannon Beach, Co. Wexford
The very best junior, female and male riders from across Ireland and the globe as they compete over the weekend in the course racing events.
Waterford Harvest Food Festival (11-13 September)
Celebrating food heritage and culture, www.slowfoodireland.com
National Ploughing Championships, Ratheniska, Co.Laois. 22-24 September. Possibly Europe’s largest outdoor exhibition and agricultural trade show.
New Ross Piano Festival (24-27 September)
Featuring six pianists and a chamber orchestra www.newrosspianofestival.com
Tramore Surf and Sea Festival (Dates TBC), Co. Waterford
Surfing, Kite surfing, Beach volleyball, Kite making workshops, Guided Eco Walks, Angling, Pony Trekking and country market, www.oceanics.ie
'IMAGINE' - Waterford Arts Festival (15-25 October)
Theatre, film, music, comedy, dance, literature, visual, craft and children - a platform for local talent and a showcase for international artists. www.imagineartsfestival.com
Kilkenny Fashion Week (Dates TBC), Kilkenny City
Fashion shows, masterclasses and demos for the sartorial visitor
Rockfall Music Festival (23-25 October), Kilkenny City
The best of international and local talent
Savour Kilkenny Food Festival (Dates TBC)
A celebration of local food, from producer to the table, featuring tastings, lectures, demonstrations and markets, www.savourkilkenny.com
Kilkenomics (5-9 November 2015) Kilkenny City
Fusion festival of economics, financial expertise and comedy www.kilkenomics.com
Waterford Film Festival (7-9 November), Waterford City
Featuring a range of Irish and international cinema, including documentary, children’s films and shorts, www.waterfordfilmfestival.com
Cashel Arts Festival (Dates TBC),Cashel, Co. Tipperary.
Music, art, dance, theatre, film, exhibitions and workshops, www.cashelartsfest.com
Subtitle Film Festival (23-29 November), Various Venues, Kilkenny City
Featuring the very best of recent European and International Cinema www.subtitlefest.com
Santa’s Grotto (December),Discovery Park, Castlecomer.
Visit Santa and Mrs. Claus in their magical grotto. Festive outdoor trails also available, www.discoverypark.ie
Santa train and Christmas Fair (December) Mount Juliet, Thomastown
Take the Santa train through the grounds of Mount Juliet estate, followed by a visit to Santa Claus. Food and Craft fair www.mountjuliet.ie
New Year's Day 2016
The Wellie Race and Parade, Castlecomer. This event takes place annually on New Years Day. www.wellierace.com