Get ready for the Athlone River Festival & Food Village 2016

Pictured are the organisers and supporters of the Athlone River Festival: Robert Fleming, The Malthouse; Adam Lyons, Kin Khao restaurant; Wanda Fitzpatrick, The Sheraton Hotel; and Paul Donovan, Sean's Bar. The annual River Festival & Food Village will take place from Friday to Sunday, September 9 to 11. Photo: Shelley Corcoran

Pictured are the organisers and supporters of the Athlone River Festival: Robert Fleming, The Malthouse; Adam Lyons, Kin Khao restaurant; Wanda Fitzpatrick, The Sheraton Hotel; and Paul Donovan, Sean's Bar. The annual River Festival & Food Village will take place from Friday to Sunday, September 9 to 11. Photo: Shelley Corcoran

The annual River Festival & Food Village returns this year with a great programme of events from Friday to Sunday, September 9 to 11.

The festival proved very popular last year with thousands of people enjoying the festivities on and beside the River Shannon. This year’s event promises to entice families, foodies, and fun seekers.

The River Festival programme will celebrate the River Shannon’s connection with Athlone with a host of river-based events including a boat illumination show, a raft race, flyboarding, rowing, dragon boat racing, swimming, angling, a sub aqua display, and a magnificent Viking boat display.

Highlights of the food village include a wood-fired pizza and hops gathering on Friday, September 9, and a medieval feast and hog roast on Saturday, September 10. The very best of local produce will be on offer and exciting cookery demonstrations from some of the region’s top chefs will take place on Sunday, September 11.

Those interested in taking part in the raft race and soap box race should get in touch with festival organisers via the festival Facebook page or the festival page on Athlone.ie

Timmy Donovan, Athlone River Festival organiser, said: “We’re delighted to launch this year’s event which will be even bigger and better, building on last year’s success, with the Vikings taking centre stage, a larger food village, more children’s activities and more clubs coming on board such as Athlone Yacht Club and Athlone Swimming Club. The festival is a wonderful celebration of Athlone’s unique position on the Shannon and will involve a whole host of fun on and off the water.

“Be warned - the Vikings are coming! We need as many children as possible to come along and help us defend the town at the Viking versus kids battle on Saturday, September 10. Visit our Facebook page for all event details.”

The festival will kick off on Friday, September 10, with a ‘Jazz on the River’ party on the river bank beside Athlone Castle, a perfect viewing point for the cruiser sail-past and sunset boat illumination.

John Coffey, Athlone River Festival organiser, said: “Everyone is welcome to what will be a not-to-be-missed kick-off event with delicious food and great music.”

Find Athlone River Festival & Food Village on Facebook for more information and to keep up to date on event details. Alternatively, visit www.athlone.ie/visit/river-festival-food-village/ or call (085 ) 7389448.

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