The summer will be noisily and colourfully waved in across the May Bank Holiday weekend in Limerick as our Shannonside city becomes the focus for the first major national festival of the year. Riverfest will attract thousands to the banks of the Shannon for the 14th year of a festival. The festival is a carnival of activity and variety, all based around the great waters of the Shannon, with much of the high jinks on river itself.
Visitors travel from across the country and many also from abroad for a four day celebration that includes everything from high-octane water based activities across the weekend to the country’s biggest fireworks display of the summer, its largest BBQ cook-off, celebrations of food and fashion, outdoor and indoor concerts and, of course, the Great Limerick Run.
Among the major new attractions this year will be the first ever visit to Ireland by the Seabreacher Shark – a dare-devil ride all the way from Queenstown, New Zealand an 18ft ‘shark-craft’ that can travel at speeds of up to 80km per hour, soar 18ft high out of the water, dip up to 5ft under the water, do side rolls and doughnuts.
The water based activities will also involve a free Double Zipline across the Shannon, Water Zorbing, Kayaking, and a social swim that will have hundreds getting a different perspective of the great river.
At quayside there will be annual favourites such as The Riverfestival Village, at Arthur’s Quay – a weekend long cacophony of foods, crafts, vintage amusements, street performers and live musical entertainment. The Limerick Food Experience in the Garden of the Hunt Museum will showcase the best quality, locally produced food and drink that Limerick has to offer while the Saturday will also see one of the annual high points of the festival take place as Ireland’s largest BBQ cook-off takes place with teams representing cuisines around the world competing for honours.
The weekend’s ‘Big Gigs’ will include Jack L on Saturday night and Bell X1 at King John’s Castle. Sunday’s Great Limerick Run, which is Ireland’s fastest growing participatory event, is another of the top features of the weekend, drawing an anticipated 13,000 people for three events – the full marathon, half marathon, 6 mile.
Sheila Deegan, Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council, “The continued development and investment in Riverfest shows Limerick’s desire to grow our visitor offering. Riverfest is one of the civic festivals delivered by Limerick City and County Council to bring the May Bank Holiday Weekend to life in the city and celebrate the river. Festivals are an important way of bringing us together to share and learn about ourselves, our culture, our heritage and give confidence and voice to creative expression of all kinds.”
Laura Ryan added: “We’ve had a very long winter, that very much consumed the spring but we’ll be putting all that behind us with Riverfest. It’s a brilliant mix of different elements and, most of all, offers something for everyone. The fact that the last act that many who come here for the festival do as they depart is to book again for next year says a lot about Riverfest. It’s a great time for Limerick and this festival is a weekend long celebration of that.”
Visit www.riverfest.ie for full details of the festival
Photography by: True Media
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