IMMERSE yourself in history at the Woodford Furnace Festival – The Sliabh Aughty Furnace Project from 19 to 25 August. The village of Woodford, Co Galway, is itself one of the few surviving towns built to make iron, with a water-powered blast furnace which was built there in 1681. The focus of the festival is to produce iron from local ore using bloomery furnaces. These are clay shafts that produce wrought or forgeable iron. The iron is made from smelters from both Ireland and further afield. This family event takes place in the village of Woodford. For more information, see www.furnacefestival.org.
EXPERIENCE all of the traditional agricultural show attractions at the 90th Limerick Show on 25 August. Taking place at Limerick Racecourse, this family festival has everything from cattle, horse, sheep and poultry showing to horticulture, crafts and baking. In addition to a food village, showcasing the finest Limerick produce. There will also be live music and a free kids zone. For the fitness fanatics, there is both a 5km and Munster Dooneen Mile Races. For the music lovers, Dale and the Champions and DJ Ronan Collins will be on stage, as well as showband singer Shaun O’Dowd. For more information, visit www.limerickshow.com.
CELEBRATE all Kildare’s cuisine has to offer at the Taste of Kildare Food Festival at The K Club from the 18-19 August. Visitors to the event last year enjoyed delicious menus from the county’s leading restaurants, producers and suppliers. The event is organised by Into Kildare and will also feature wine and craft beer tasting as well as cookery demonstrations. This family-fun event will have plenty of children’s activities to keep the little ones entertained. More information available on www.intokildare.ie.
ENJOY Kilkenny Arts Festival until the 18 August this summer. Now in its 46th year, the event welcomes some of the world’s finest musicians, performers, writers and artists. Classical music has always played a major role in the festival, and this year is no exception with Dawn Upshaw and Nigel Kennedy set to perform. Listen to the Marble City Sessions, curated by Irish traditional musician Martin Hayes. The Irish Chamber Orchestra will also collaborate with a series of leading national and international performers on a range of concerts, all brought to you in some of Ireland’s most magnificent historical places such as St Canice’s Cathedral and the Black Abbey. For more information, visit www.kilkennyarts.ie.
CHALLENGE yourself at the Bloom Adventure Race in the village of Kinnitty, Co Offaly on the 17 August. The picturesque Slieve Bloom Mountains will provide the perfect backdrop for both the beginning and end of the race. The event will see competitors enjoy breath-taking views as they hike/run/kayak/bike their way through the bogs and rolling mountain ranges of the county. There are two distances available, a 70km elite race and 37km sport race. This year’s elite race will also be a part of the National Adventure Racing series. Elite and sport courses are €65 plus a booking charge. See Bloom Adventure Race’s Facebook page for more details.