Mayo gearing up to host biggest Mini festival in Europe

Some 1,200 Minis and 3,000 fans expected to attend event at Westport House

Smallest cars have the biggest fans, as should be amply proven by the descent, on May 25th, of thousands of Mini enthusiasts on Westport House in Co Mayo.

They’ll be coming for the 2017 International Mini Meet; the biggest annual European event for one of the smallest cars around.

What started as a small camping event in Germany in the 70s has expanded to a festival involving 1,200 cars and 3,000 people, all celebrating their love for the Mini.

The event will be attended by Irish motor racing legends Mervyn Johnson and Paddy Hopkirk, and events will include a treasure hunt along the Wild Atlantic Way, a Puc Fada competition (we assume they're not actually trying to throw a Mini…), a so-called "Olympic Games", and prizes for the best cars on show.

‘Great honour’

While the event is generally focused on the original, 1959-2000 Mini, the modern iteration will be represented too, as Colm Quinn Mini has been announced as an official partner of the event. The partnerships comes as the BMW and Mini dealer group, with outlets in Galway and Athlone, is marking nine years in business.

"It's not every day a festival like this comes to Ireland and we are delighted to get the opportunity to be involved. Congratulations to the Irish Mini Owners' Club for securing Ireland as the host country for this established International Mini Meet festival, it is a great honour for us to be involved," said Quinn.

Weekend ticket prices for the event cost from €95 for three days’ camping and entry fees, but if you just want to wander along for a look, then public tickets for Sunday the 28th start at €10 per person (and kids go free).

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe

Neil Briscoe, a contributor to The Irish Times, specialises in motoring