Tuesday 28 March 2017

Five of the best events this weekend - where you'll avoid the dreaded Dublin traffic chaos

Charlie Jacob (left) and Nicholas Kavanagh, from the Waterford Spraoi Street and Spectacle Company, make final preperations to their float. Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Charlie Jacob (left) and Nicholas Kavanagh, from the Waterford Spraoi Street and Spectacle Company, make final preperations to their float. Photo: Robbie Reynolds
Altamont Gardens is one of the many attractions at the Carlow Garden Festival. Photo: Twitter/Discover Ireland
Waterford Spraoi Festival
Currach racing
W.B. Yeats. Scanned from the NPA collection
The Lake Isle of Inisfree, Co Sligo (Photo by Alain Le Garsmeur/Corbis via Getty Images)

Meadhbh McGrath

Traffic chaos is set to hit the capital this weekend as O’Connell Bridge will close for the August bank holiday.

With plenty of sunny spells in store, many of us will be looking to get off the couch and out of the house to make the most of the days off.

We’ve compiled a list of the best events across the country to avoid the gridlock over the weekend.

Carlow Garden Festival


Where: Various venues, Co Carlow
When: Until August 1

Whether you’re a complete beginner or a keen gardener, there will be plenty of inspiration for those with green fingers at the Carlow Garden Festival. Guests can enjoy 13 beautiful gardens over the weekend, and a host of horticultural experts and garden designers will be on hand to deliver advice and tips. Many of the talks and garden trails are free. The festival close on the bank holiday Monday with a workshop on creating a herbaceous border.

Waterford Spraoi


Where: Waterford city
When: July 29-31

Waterford’s international street arts festival has plenty to offer for all ages, with a range of street performances, live music and theatre acts. The festival culminates with the Spraoi Parade, where hundreds of costumed performers march through the city’s medieval streets at night, amidst a series of spectacular floats, fire and special effects. It all leads up to a stunning fireworks show launched from the River Suir on Sunday night.

Feile Inis Bigil


Where: Inis Bigil Island, Achill Sound, Wesport, Co Mayo
When: July 30-August 1

Inishbiggle Island plays host to the annual family festival where guests are invited to celebrate the traditions of island life. There will be competitions in boat fishing, currach racing and yawl racing with traditional sailing boats, as well as guided walks and live music sessions. Ferries to the island run regularly from Dorans Point, Ballycroy or Bullsmouth, Achill, over the three days of the festival.

Tread Softly Festival


Where: Sligo town
When: Until August 6

Running in conjunction with the international Yeats summer school, the literary festival celebrates the life and work of the beloved writer WB Yeats and his family. The programme offers a range of arts events across the city and county of Sligo including theatre, music, exhibitions and guided walks. Highlights include the paintings of Jack B Yeats and a visit to the famous Lake Isle of Innisfree.



Where: Deer Farm, Mitchelstown, Co Cork
When: July 29-August 1

Now in its 11th year, Indiependence is one of the country’s best-loved festivals. This year’s edition boasts an impressive line-up of Irish and international acts, including headliners Bell X1, Editors, Walking on Cars and the Kooks. On top of the music, there will be comedy and spoken word performances, not to mention the Beer Hall, which offers an impressive variety of craft beers. Weekend camping tickets for the festival are priced at €119.

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