What’s on around Ireland this bank holiday weekend

A guide to events including Waterford Spraoi Festival, Lughnasa Festival and the Galway Races

Helen Murphy from Douglas Cork celebrates her win as Best Dressed lady at Galway races yesterday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

Helen Murphy from Douglas Cork celebrates her win as Best Dressed lady at Galway races yesterday. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times


The Galway Races

The much anticipated week-long racing festival ends on Sunday, but there is plenty of racing on until then. The Friday’s Fair Lady competition is today. Sunday is family day, and children can enter free of charge. There will be options for younger race-goers, including bouncy castles and face painting. Sunday is also the Mad Hatters competition. The person with the maddest hat will win a holiday for two to Faro-Algarve, Lanzarote, Malaga or Tenerife.


Cahersiveen Festival of Music & the Arts

From today until Sunday, music lovers will gather in Cahersiveen, Co Kerry for its annual music and arts festival. The festival promises music for all tastes, street entertainment, walks, deep-sea fishing, trad sessions, an open air céilí, terrier racing and more.

Nightly concerts on the main stage cost €10 and €5 for kids under 16.


Waterford Spraoi International Street Arts Festival

The annual summer festival in Waterford city centre begins today and will feature street arts, world music and activities for kids until Sunday. This festival is a big one, and there will be hundreds of live performers. Organisers expect 100,000 people to attend.

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Tread Softly Literary Festival

The Tread Softly festival in Sligo is a series of events inspired by brothers William Butler Yeats and Jack Yeats. The programme includes a variety of cultural events from theatre and film to poetry readings and walks through Yeats country. This weekend’s events include a Seamus Heaney Tribute at the Hawk’s Well Theatre on Saturday at 8pm.


Dan Paddy Andy Festival

For a festival that’s literally off the beaten path, head to the Stacks Mountains in north Co Kerry for this “totally rural” event. Held halfway between Listowel and Castleisland, festivalgoers are promised a great weekend of music, dancing, céilís, singing, drama, storytelling, bog walks, turf cutting and more.


Lughnasa Festival at Craggaunowen

Irish history and heritage will be on display on Sunday and Monday at this festival in Co Clare. Re-enactors dressed Iron Age and early Medieval period costumes will take part in the two-day event organised by Shannon Heritage at its Craggaunowen centre near Quin. Visitors will get an idea of what living conditions were like for Celtic families living in a Crannog. A hand-to-hand combat demonstration is promised.


GAZE International LGBT Film Festival

Also in Dublin, LGBT films will be screened until Monday at this annual festival. Films and discussion panels are on at the Lighthouse Cinema all weekend. The closing night gala is on Monday at 7pm.


Dublin International Piano Festival

Piano lovers will have a variety of concerts to choose from at the second annual piano festival, which will feature international performers.