Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds takes place from Friday to Sunday, September 8 to 10, with a host of music and heritage events on offer in Ballinasloe.
The festival commemorates the late Larry Reynolds, a native of Shanboley, Ahascragh, who emigrated to Boston in the 1950s and became an influential musician and member of the Irish-American community in the New England area. It also aims to promote Irish music and culture in East Galway, and the area as a visitor destination.
Prior to the official opening the Ballinasloe Singers Circle will perform in The Dunlo Tavern on Thursday, September 7.
Friday morning gives the opportunity to enjoy tea and lively tunes in the foyer of Ballinasloe Town Hall Theatre during the Country Market.
A gala concert takes place in the theatre on Friday at 8pm with headline act fiddle players Liz and Yvonne Kane from Letterfrack, accompanied by John Blake. Award-winning Athlone Acapella Choir and local young musicians, Plearáca feature, followed by a lively opening night session in The Pillar House from 9pm.
Saturday will start with music workshops in Scoil an Chroí Naofa and continue with interactive craft exhibitions on Dunlo Street, Main Street, and Society Street; a talk on the East Galway style of music in the Church Gallery by local music scholar, Vera Craughwell; an historical walking tour of Ballinasloe, and the week-long photo exhibition in Ballinasloe Library of local families and businesses. The afternoon sees a junior music session and the evening an Irish Music Pub Trail.
Sunday’s activities begin with Mass in St Michael’s Church with music and song by local musicians.
One of the highlights is the all-Ireland U18 fiddle competition, with a cash prize and perpetual cup for the winner. Other events include a singer’s circle, a céilí with The Glenside Céilí Band in Gullanes Hotel, a junior session, and a continuation of the Pub Trail.
“Féile Cheoil Larry Reynolds has become an important weekend on the Traditional Irish Music Calendar, with many well known musicians requesting to return every year is testament to that,” said Billy Reynolds, committee member. "We are very lucky that we have had such fantastic support from local musicians, businesses, photographers, volunteers and organisations, who have done all possible to assist the committee in the staging of the festival."