May the Fourth be with you - Ireland gets a brand new Star Wars festival
The Fáilte Awakens
Ireland has gotten a brand new festival - with its origins in a galaxy far, far away.
The new 'May the Fourth Be With You' festival will run from May 4-6 of this year, and is aimed at celebrating the Wild Atlantic Way.
"Hop in your X-Wing Fighter and let's fly," its website gushes.
The Fáilte Ireland initiative is designed to capitalise on several Star Wars location shoots that have taken place along the 2,500km route, from Malin Head in Co. Donegal to Ceann Sibeal and Skellig Michael in Co. Kerry - and beyond.
Kicking off on Friday, May the 4th (when fans across the globe commemorate the Star Wars Universe), the festival will see events for all ages taking place across the Kerry villages of Ballyferriter, Portmagee, Ballinskelligs and Valentia Island.
Events will range from drive-in movie screenings to guided film location walks, puffin workshops (the movie's porgs were inspired by the local birds), a fancy dress céilí and more, all set against the backdrop of the west Kerry coast.
"I have been keen to mark May the Fourth in a meaningful way," said Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin, announcing the festival.
"I am delighted that events like the outdoor screenings of the film, with the actual film locations visible in the background, will provide amazing imagery for even greater exposure around the world," he added.
Irish locations appeared in both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, providing an unrivalled tourism marketing opportunity.
This winter, Tourism Ireland ran a €500,000 Star Wars campaign that included launching a billboard into space attached to a weather balloon.
“We have worked with local tourism businesses to create a festival that not only gives fans the opportunity to visit the filming locations and take part in some fantastic themed activities but also to learn about the history and natural landscape of the area," added Paul Kelly, Fáilte Ireland's CEO.
See wildatlanticway.com/may-the-fourth-festival for more.