You have to love July. Festival fever and all that. And this year is a little bit more special with all the Gathering events happening across the county.
One of the longest running Mayo festivals kicked off yesterday with the 46th International Castlebar Four Day Walks. Many of the walkers are repeat visitors for this annual event while others, both tourists and locals, are venturing across the plains and hills of Mayo for the first time. This popular event has attracted more than 800 walkers from 22 different countries to participate over the four days. The walks this year incorporate some of Mayo County Council’s walking loops giving participants a real taste of what Mayo has to offer and hopefully an appetite for more.
What should be a quiet month in the car sales industry is proving to be a lucrative month with more cars registered on July 1 than the whole of June. That surely proves that the new biannual registration system has been a success. There were 1,927 cars sold on July 1 and 2,095 vehicles registered compared with 1 on the same day last year. However, July 1 last year was a Sunday but the next day, July 2 saw only 140 new car sales. In fact car sales on July 1 exceeded sales on the first working day of January this year - traditionally the busiest day of the year when 1,487 new cars were sold.
Hopefully the momentum garnered this year will continue for years to come.
Another initiative rolled out in 2013, The Gathering, is enjoying similar success. Visit numbers are up. The first five months of the year enjoyed its best results for five years. There was a 12.5 per cent increase in visitors from North America and the Great Britain market is back in growth.
The Gathering is gaining momentum. But this is down to the hard work of volunteer organisations which have embraced this concept and creatively engaged their own communities and the Diaspora. What’s exciting is the amount of history and culture that has been unearthed and packaged as tourist attractions and which will survive the year of The Gathering thus providing a more comprehensive tourist package for Mayo and the rest of Ireland.
France is leading the charge from Europe according to the Government which is good news for Mayo’s flagship Gathering In Humberts’ Footsteps which will see the a historical re-enactment of the 1798 invasion of Ireland by French forces under the command of General Humbert.
Professional re-enactors from France, Ireland, and the UK will be recreating the landing of the French in Killala and the ensuing battle as well as the Races of Castlebar.
The Mayo North Gathering will take place from August 1-9 and features more than 100 events over nine days across the entire north Mayo region.
Nine great days are guaranteed for all the family at an amazing array of events from concerts and street festivals to sports and cultural events. The Mayo North Gathering is a great way to sample what the region has to offer. Up to 100,000 people are expected to attend the events and there is strong international interest with hundreds of overseas tourists already committed to returning to north Mayo from the UK and USA over the period.
Tickets are moving fast for a number of events such as the Young Gifted and Green concert, Atlantic Rhythms concert, and the Mary Robinson gala dinner.
For all that’s happening in Mayo this Gathering check out Gatheringireland.com