Féile na Tuaithe - Turlough Park, one of the biggest free family festivals in the west, is returning to the National Museum of Ireland – Country Life outside Castlebar, Co Mayo, on Saturday and Sunday May 21 and 22, from 12 noon to 5pm.
Bumper crowds of up to 30,000 are expected for the two-day event. All elements in Féile have a direct connection with the exhibitions within the museum itself, which showcases traditional country life since the 19th century. Féile na Tuaithe brings the museum to life, effortlessly connecting with visitors of all ages.
The 30 acre ground is bursting with an exciting programme of entertainment, demonstrations, workshops, music, and art for children and adults alike. A dozen live demonstrations showcase a living history of strong Irish craft traditions ranging from the absorbing crafts of weaving, woodturning and wool dying, blacksmithing and bushcraft, bread and basketmaking, to thatching and strawcraft and the time-honoured traditions of the cooper.
Vintage farm machinery and a visit to the animal village with horses, cows, donkeys, Blackface sheep, pigs, and poultry, provide a glimpse into agricultural history, while the farrier shoes horses and donkeys live onsite.
The drop-in farm animal art project in the family village behind the Victorian glasshouse has plenty to keep little fingers and imaginations busy. Woodland trails full of mythical creations and large-scale artwork provide a perfect reason to explore the museum’s beautiful, extensive grounds, and then continue that exploration within the museum’s galleries.
Younger visitors can enjoy art and craft activities, face painting, and traditional games, while the craft and food villages provide the opportunity for shopping and an outdoor meal enjoyed alongside a live performance from one of the musical acts in the entertainment village, which always gathers a crowd.
Food has become a significant part of Féile. As well as the established food village featuring a selection of artisan producers, the catering (hot food ) area includes cookery demonstrations from chefs including multi-award winning Áine Maguire from The Idle Wall restaurant. Drop over and see Féile’s very own master chefs sharing their tricks and secrets with the audience.
Entry and car parking is free of charge. For more information visit www.museum.ie/Country-Life/Feile-na-Tuaithe or see the event's Facebook and Twitter pages.