FESTIVALS

Something to suit every taste in Ballyhoura Country

Time to embrace Lunghnasa traditions

Something to suit every taste in Ballyhoura Country

Neil Porteous gives a guided walk through Doneraile’s walled gardens on August 20 between 2-3pm.

Summer days may be in the rear-view mirror but with the onset of Lunghnasa it’s time to embrace its many traditions.

Lunghnasa is long associated with the harvest as well as athletic competitions, religious celebrations, feasting and trading. Local festivals incorporated these traditions while encouraging young and old to come together and celebrate the new season. You will find there is much to celebrate in Ballyhoura Country in the coming weeks.

Originally the Ballylanders Pattern Festival was a gathering for locals and people who returned from overseas to meet family and friends as part of the tradition to reunite those who had moved abroad. Now, decades after it began and still celebrated alongside the Feast of the Assumption the festival in time developed into a community event including local GAA events, street entertainment and continues to bring young and old together.

This year, organised by Ballylanders Development, the festival runs from Friday August 9 to Thursday August 15 in various locations around Ballylanders. The annual Ballylanders Pattern Festival has something for everyone, with sporting activities, outdoor events, farm market & craft stalls. Come join the adventure at the Family Fun Fair very evening from 7:30, Sunday from 2:30pm and all day Thursday August 15. The Street Market held on Pattern Day which falls on Thursday, August 15, this year will have a selection of food and arts & crafts stalls. For more information go to their Facebook page.

Taking place between Friday August 16 and Sunday 18 Castletown Country Festival is a weekend long festival of country music with performances every night, a family fun day on Sunday and a Truck Show in aid of Milford Hospice. On Friday night enjoy music from Cliona Hagan & Eddie Carey. On Saturday Johnny Brady & Clodagh Lawlor take to the stage. And finally on Sunday  Marty Mone & Paddy Quilligan close out the weekend.

Cappamore Show is celebrating 65 years on August 17 in Ballyvoreen. To mark the milestone Cappamore Show has arranged vintage events with a Vintage Farm Machinery and Vintage Domestic Appliances Exhibition. There will also be prizes for the best dressed Lady and Gent in the style of the 1950’s and a bonny baby competition. 

There will be dancing on the field to Dermot Lyons and Pauline Hynan’s young dance troupes entertaining the crowd with set and line dancing.  Edward Hayden, celebrity Chef and culinary expert, will give a Cookery Demonstration at 3 o’clock in a dedicated marquee.

There are plenty of free activities for children organised on the day including music generation, face painting, bouncy castles, horse riding and a pets corner with both farmyard and rare & exotic animals. Alma Jordan of Agri Kids will give two fun, lively and interactive sessions on how to be safe and stay safe on the farm and in the countryside. Come along and learn how to be a Farm Safety Ambassador.

There will be plenty of competitions on the day including sheaf throwing, tug of war and skittles. There will also be a range of activities for teenagers with water zorbs and paddle boats, bumpers, Kick Dart Football and disco dome.

On the grounds over twenty craft workers and small businesses will be displaying their wares and services in the Craft/Small Business Hall.

There will be plenty of traditional show competitions with different categories for cattle, horse, dogs, fruit & vegetables, flowers,  cookery, crafts and photography. There is also a new children’s section covering computer design, art and painting, not forgetting their skill behind a camera. Further details are available go to  www.cappamoreshow.ie.

Heritage week takes place across the country between August 17 and 25 and Ballyhoura Country has a range of events on offer. All events are free with many wheel chair accessible. Enter the world of blacksmitery as artist and sculptor Eric O’Neill opens his studio in Gortnascarry on August 19th from 12-16:30. Garden enthusiasts are invited to join a guided walk by Neil Porteous through Doneraile’s walled gardens on August 20 between 2-3pm. Neil is head of Gardens at Mount Stewart in Northern Ireland, and a garden advisor to the National Trust. Camation Theatre presents “Greyhound on Train” in Mitchlestown Library on August 20, 2:30-3:30pm. It’s the War of Independence story that no one has told and follows the lives of three women and the roles they played. Meanwhile, learn about biodiversity, history and heritage in an informal environment as Griston Bog offers a guided tour along its board walk on August 21 between 10:30-12pm. The tour provides invaluable insight into how ways of life have changed over thousands of years. Booking advance is advised please contact reception@ballyhoura.org.  On August 24, Laurentinum opens its doors, between 11-4pm, to allow visitors to see the painstaking conservation works being carried out there. The open day will include turs of the conservation works, historical talks and practical workshops with Chris Southgate, Conservation Engineer, Damien Condon, CALX Restoration and Archaeologist Flor Hurley.