Thursday 20 June 2019

Festival fever in gorgeous Graiguenamanagh town

Tube racing at the Graiguenamanagh River Regatta in 2016. The annual regatta has been running since 1886
Tube racing at the Graiguenamanagh River Regatta in 2016. The annual regatta has been running since 1886

David Looby

Graiguenamanagh has been buzzing with tourist activity all summer long and visitor numbers are set to rise with three festivals taking place over the coming weeks.

Walkers, music and book lovers of all ages are all being catered for at festivals over the coming weeks, following the hugely successful regatta last weekend.

The town's natural and built heritage will be showcased during the festivals which began over the weekend with the Graiguenamanagh Regatta.

The Music Fest takes place next weekend on August 11 and 12; the Walking Festival takes place August 18 and 19 and wrapping up with the Town of Books Festival from August 24 to 26.

'The town that nearly drowned in flash flooding is back again, and we're looking forward to a record-breaking August. The fabulous spell of good weather has really benefited Graiguenamanagh with thousands flocking here in recent weeks to enjoy swimming and other water pursuits, walks, cycles, fishing and so much more,' said festivals committee spokesperson, Mag Whelan.

The new outdoor pursuit hub at the meeting of the Duiske and Barrow rivers is a major boost to the town and will really help us to become the outdoor pursuit capital of Ireland. 'The purpose-built centre is an incubation hub for outdoor activities and social enterprises and is a further boost to the town. We're hoping it will be busy right throughout the year and know it will be a tremendous boost to the established outdoor pursuits firms who are already operating in this region. The new hub will also further enhance Graiguenamanagh's proud reputation as a leading community which supports healthy living, healthy lifestyles, wellbeing, activities and an infectious sense of adventure and fun among all ages, all levels of participation. It has also just been granted a license to host civil registrations.'

The Graiguenamanagh River Regatta has been run since 1886 and attracts water sport lovers who participate in races and admire the skill of others, enjoy the fun and support everyone taking part. Sunday was the major competition day, featuring high and low diving competitions, Cot Races and a wide selection of Swimming Races open to all and all age groups for spectators to enjoy.

The Music Fest the following weekend will see lots of fun and musical events at the Hub and in various pubs throughout the town, while the Walking Festival will feature a series of walks around the area.

The month ends with the ever popular and growing Town of Books Festival a weekend-long event, which is supported by Kilkenny County Council, Fáilte Ireland and Creative Ireland. This year, over 30 independent booksellers will be in attendance and visiting authors include Patricia Gibney and Helena Duggan events to look forward to are an exploration of the life, times and works of Kavanagh, a major food and craft fair, local history tour and so much more.

New Ross Standard