Events galore but don't bet on good weather . . .
Published 30/07/2011 | 05:00
FESTIVALS, fun and moderate sun are on the agenda this weekend.
Local economies are set to benefit from the hosting of major sporting events including the Irish Open in Killarney, the Galway Races in Ballybrit, three GAA championship quarter-finals and the Dublin Super Cup, all of which end on Sunday.
There are scores of smaller festivals around the country, including the Festival of the Erne in Belturbet, Co Cavan, the Wicklow Regatta Festival and the Skibbereen Arts Festival in Cork.
In Mullingar, music lovers can see tribute bands to the town's most famous son, Joe Dolan, while punters looking for free fun can choose from the 10th anniversary of the Carlow Garden Festival, the International Bog Day and Bog Snorkelling Championships in Co Armagh, and the Donkey Derby in Omeath, Co Louth.
For those seeking a more quirky day out there's the Howya Festival in Durrow, Co Laois, and the Barrack Hill Ball Roll in Cobh, Co Cork.
One gamble not to take this weekend is on the weather. Reports from Met Eireann suggest that while the weekend is to stay mainly dry, we are not in for the heatwave that was predicted.
Short showers and clouds are expected, with top temperatures expected to be between 20C and 21C.
Weather may be a problem for music lovers camping at Charleville Castle in Offaly for the three-day Castlepalooza festival or at the Independence Music and Arts Festival in Mitchelstown, Co Cork.
There are more intimate gigs in Co Meath.
The Le Cheile Arts and Music Festival is in small venues around Oldcastle, but up to 10,000 people are expected to watch artists including Duke Special, Ryan Sheridan and Sharon Shannon.
For those looking to exert a bit more energy, there is the Beast of Ballyhoura Adventure Weekend which has a 36-hour non-stop race while mountain running, biking, kayaking, abseiling, orienteering and shooting.