Festival fever to rock Castlebar this summer

Castlebar is set for a summer of sizzling festivals and family entertainment as local groups put the finishing touches to a number of exciting events.

Four of the larger events in the pipeline will take the festivities to the streets of the town over the summer months.

The celebrations kick off next week, Thursday May 23 to Sunday May 26, with the second annual Mayo International Choral Festival. Forty four choirs from Ireland and abroad will participate in this four-day event which will include a number of evening and daily county-wide performances, as well as competitions and workshops. Seven community concerts will take place all over the county throughout the weekend, starting at 8.30pm, with local and visiting choirs performing at each.

On Sunday, June 2, a Ceilí at the Crossroads will take place on Linenhall Street. Organisers promise a carnival atmosphere and family friendly fun and entertainment with four traditional music acts and a group of world champion dancers set to bring our traditional song and dance alive.

On Saturday, July 6, the third annual Heart of Castlebar festival returns. This year organisers invite you to bring the family to town to ramble among the stalls which will span the length of Main Street, enjoy the crafts and traditions of yesteryear at Castle Street’s heritage day, marvel at the beautifully restored and preserved vintage cars, and let the children’s entertainers delight the younger spectators with their cleverly designed acts.

The streets, which will be free of traffic for the day and night, will be buzzing with the sights and sounds of local businesses selling their wares. Enjoy the many musical acts that have been booked and join in the festivities. Parking concessions will be operational in the main carparks.

But don’t go home too early. The festivities will continue late into the night with some fantastic local talent lined up for the Main Street outdoor concert which will continue until after dark.

Organiser Kathryn Brennan is looking forward to another action-packed Heart of Castlebar festival and will be releasing a full programme of events for the day and night in the coming weeks.

Then in August Mayo’s flagship Gathering event, In Humbert’s Footsteps, will see the town come alive as the famous Races of Castlebar are re-enacted. Watch the Redcoats being chased down Staball Hill, hear the cannons boom and bellow from the bridge, be a witness to the action on Main Street and the engagement at Christ Church.

Surrounding this event will be a living history camp on the Mall, there will be street music, French markets, exhibitions in the Linenhall and the Museum of Country Life and an old style carnival on the Mall. The festival will culminate with a victory dance at the Military Barracks where the world-renowned Ragús will perform a specially commissioned piece of music and dance, The Republic of Connacht.

So this summer Castlebar will certainly be the place to be with these and many more events in the pipeline to ensure the whole family are entertained at a host of free local events.


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