In less than ten days, the river Shannon in the heart of Athlone will come alive with the Athlone Shannon Feastival. It takes place on September 8 and 9 and promises to be a feast for foodies and families alike with an action packed and busy programme of events planned for the whole weekend.
The inaugural Athlone Shannon Feastival will focus on the town’s connection with the river Shannon as well as highlighting local foods and producers. The festival is being held in the run up to the 2018 World Canal Conference which runs from September 10-12. This global conference will bring hundreds of canal and waterway enthusiasts, professionals and academics to the town.
Athlone Deputy Mayor, Cllr. Aengus O’ Rourke, says a lot of resources are being put into the September festival after the need for a major event was identified in recent years.
“Athlone is very proud to host the very successful ‘All Ireland Drama Festival’ in May each year and that event over the course of a week is a fantastic asset for the town in terms of economic impact and profile. However, Athlone has been crying out for a summer festival too. A festival with the potential to attract national and international visitors now and into the future. We are aiming for this festival to grow in the years ahead and to feature strongly on the national calendar of festivals, attracting visitors from far and wide, in the same vein as the Kilkenny Cat Laughs, the Galway Oyster Festival, the Cork Jazz Festival and so on,” Cllr. O’Rourke noted.
The Deputy Mayor has called on the local general public to come out in full support of the imminent weekend of activities.
“In my opinion we need the help of the people of Athlone, not only to turn out and support the festival, but also to help promote the weekend to those we know, basically to all our connections. We all have friends and relations scattered across the country and further afield. If we all promote the festival to our contacts directly or via social media it will help us greatly to market the weekend to a wider audience and to an audience with a connection to the town. This activity is free, effective and will pay dividends. We have a marketing plan and team in place, working very hard with limited resources so every assistance the public can give would be greatly appreciated. Lets make this festival a festival we can all be proud of and enjoy together with our family and friends,” Cllr. O’Rourke concluded.