Huge attendance at Féile na Tuaithe extravaganza

Sinead Hopkins sporting a cheerful umbrella during Féile na Tuaithe at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Photo: John Mee Photography

Sinead Hopkins sporting a cheerful umbrella during Féile na Tuaithe at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life. Photo: John Mee Photography

The effervescent family festival Féile na Tuaithe 2016 came to a close at the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life two weeks ago. It was a rollercoaster weekend, with more than 20,000 visitors joining in a joyful celebration of country life and everything associated with it. The atmosphere was truly wonderful and ear to ear smiles adorned faces young and old.

“Once again Féile na Tuaithe has been an outstanding success. It’s a really wonderful weekend festival for the museum,” said Tony Candon, manager keeper of the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life. "The interest and enthusiasm from everyone involved – demonstrators, exhibitors, stallholders and of course the visitors – was just fantastic to be a part of. Thanks to all.”

Every attraction at Féile is connected with the museum itself and encouraging people to actively engage is an important part of festival. Children tried their hand at fly fishing, fire making and creating May flowers, at broom dancing and stroking donkeys, pigs, hens, goats and the exotic collection of owls and birds of prey. The Mythical Meanderings trail worked its magic on little visitors, while the aroma of wild garlic wafted by. Older people took a trip down memory lane with stone wall building, blacksmithing and the unmistakable sounds and scents of a farrier hot shoeing a horse. The poitin still brought back some memories and a few knowing smiles. Knitting needles flashed, colours blurred on a busy loom and toe tapping live music spilled from the marquee. At one end of the grounds traditional thrashers separated the grain from plain straw and elsewhere clever hands turned that straw into beautiful decorations and knots.

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