Castlebar will have plenty of heart this weekend as three major festivals are combining to bring thousands of visitors to the county town.
The Heart of Castlebar, a street festival with markets, music, and heritage attractions, the International Four Day Walks, which attracts visitors from all over the world to hike the highways and byways around the town, and the Connacht Fleadh, the biggest celebration of traditional music in the region, are all coinciding to set the town alight with music and celebrations.
The Heart of Castlebar begins on Saturday and Main Street will be pedestrianised with market stalls and onstreet entertainment, while Castle Street is hosting a heritage fair
The Connacht Fleadh, which continues until Sunday, is bringing to town in excess of 1,000 competitors, their families, and supporters, and traditional music enthusiasts.
One of the highlights of the festival is a busking competition in the town centre tomorrow from 12 noon, while a gig rig will be providing open air entertainment in Hoban’s carpark.
The International Four Day Walks, which launched yesterday and continues until Sunday, has attracted more international visitors than ever before.
More than 400 walkers from 18 different countries, including Holland, Denmark, Korea, and Japan, are enjoying the festival, alongside national and local walkers.
President of Castlebar Chamber Sylvester Jennings said local businesses are no doubt looking forward to the economic boost the trio of festivals should bring.
“It is just fantastic to see three great events all combine like this and really showcase the town to thousands of visitors,” he explained. “Huge credit has to go to all of the organisations who have worked so hard for many months leading up to this to bring these events to fruition for the whole town and county to enjoy. I’m sure it will be a great success.
“As well as promoting Castlebar as a leading destination in the west and increasing the profile of the town, hosting festivals like this also has a really positive knock-on effect for the local business community.”
(For more on Castlebar’s festivals, see page 24 ).