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Catching Kilkenny’s Festival Fever
From comedy to conkers and horse racing to fine food, Kilkenny City and County seems to possess an uncanny knack for hosting very successful festivals.
Things take off each spring with the Kilkenny Walking Festival. Organisers offer a month long programme of outdoor events for all the family, including nature walks, city heritage walks, garden trails, scavenger hunts and ‘foraging in the wild’ expeditions.
The medieval capital of Ireland is positively buzzing during the summer months for the Cat Laughs Comedy Festival and Kilkenny Arts Festival. Cat Laughs take place over the June Bank Holiday from the 30th May to the 3rd June. The cream of international comedy are set to converge yet again on Kilkenny City once to jest with the best of Ireland’s home grown comic talents, for this highly acclaimed laughter fest.
For 10 days each August, the Kilkenny Arts Festival brings the very best in Irish and international visual art, classical music, theatre and dance, jazz, world and traditional Irish music, literature, film, Indie music, craft, children’s and street events. Organisers are busy putting together a special line-up of Irish and international artists to celebrate the festival’s 40th Anniversary this year from the 9th to the 18th August.
The enchantingly preserved medieval heritage of Kilkenny City provides the perfect backdrop for the annual Kilkenny Celtic Festival, which takes place at the end of September. This festival attracts performers and visitors from across the Celtic fringe lands of Wales, Scotland, France and Ireland, for 10 days of performances and activities. Events include ceilís, live street performances, Celtic dance workshops, lectures, children's storytelling and a traditional live music trail in local pubs.
Experience the atmosphere and excitement of a day at the races during Kilkenny’s very own horse racing festival, held every October. Gowran Park is the picturesque venue for two days of National Hunt and Flat Racing with top class B&B accommodation available in both Kilkenny City and County. October is also when food lovers converge on the Marble City for the ‘Savour Kilkenny Festival of Food.’ Highlights include cookery demonstrations by some of Ireland’s leading celebrity chefs and a Food Market on Parade Plaza.
Drill and string up your conkers in preparation for the 14th Irish Conker Championship, which takes place on Sunday 27th October 2013 in the village of Freshford. You don’t have to be nuts to participate but organisers do ask competitors to take the largest conkers they can find along, for a truly smashing time.
With an additional bumper programme of special events being organised by local communities as part of the Kilkenny Gathering 2013, there may never be a better time to catch Kilkenny’s festival fever.