From Sinbad the Sailor and yacht races to ghostly tales and perfect poetry, this region has an event to suit just about everyone!
Events galore around the East Border Region
This beautiful area boasts a diverse mix of events and festivals throughout the year, but spring and summer not only bring warmth and sunshine, but also every type of event you can imagine – from the cultural warmth of Patrick Kavanagh’s Poetry Weekend (April) and The Living Lough Exhibition (July/August) around glistening Lough Neagh to the fun-filled eclectic mix of events at the Annual Drogheda Arts Festival (April/May) and the adrenaline pumping Mourne International Walking Festival (June) in Newcastle, County Down – the East Border Region is a veritable hotbed for some truly stunning events!
The magic of music
Music aficionados will adore The Dundalk International Music Series 2008 runs throughout the year and is presented by The Arts Office of Dundalk Town Council at various locations; and the Celtic Fusion International Music Festival (July) in County Down, a music festival infused with celtic tradations; the Newry Musical Feis (May) is four weeks of song, music and dance; The 10th Annual Guinness Blues on the Bay Festival (June) provides six days of magical entertainment around the Warrenpoint area; the Monaghan Harvest Time R&B Festival (September) will get your feet tapping; The Kells Summer Festival (July) boasts household names for comedy and music; while the Fiddler’s Green Festival (July) in Rostrevor, celebrates Irish and international music, arts and culture, and showcases some of Ireland’s finest musicians.
Now for something just a little different
Where do we start? During July The Kingdom of Mourne Festival gala event takes place on Saturday 26, followed by The Maiden of the Mournes Festival (August), which boasts fireworks, concerts and musical entertainment; The Newry Agricultural Show (June) is ideal for those with even a passing interest in our wonderful livestock; check out the Flat Lake Literary Festival (July) at the Hilton Park in Clones is a guaranteed draw for lovers of literature; The 14th Annual Bird Fair (August) in Tannaghmore Gardens Animal Farm is a showcase for anyone interested in falconry, sheep dog trials, craftsmen and artists, and is a great family day out; The Grand Garden Fair (May) in Mount Stewart is a garden lovers’ extravaganza; while the Apple Blossom Festival (May) boasts tonnes of family friendly entertainment surrounded by the magnificence of the beautiful pink blooms around the apple orchards, and you can also take part in the Bank Holiday Apple Blossom Coach Tour, which brings you through areas of outstanding beauty and historical significance, including the world-famous Bramley Apple Tour around Armagh.
For action and adventure enthusiasts
Equestrian lovers will adore the Ballygraffan International Horse Trials (April) set in the beautiful Strangford Lough area of County Down; or the Tattersalls International Horse Trials (May/June), one of the 17 venues around the world to host a World Cup Qualifier; Lough Lively 2008 (April/May) is a week-long celebration of events, including sailing, fishing and diving, as well as a range of walks, trips and tours; cruise along to Coney Island from Kinnego Marina during July and August to find out more about the rich and varied history of this awe-inspiring island; take a Guided Cycle tour along the renowned Newry Canal Towpath (August) from Bann Boulevard to Scarva and back again; while the Big Air Wakeboard Tour Stop (July) is the ultimate in water-skimming action at Lough Muckno Waterski Club in Castleblaney – miss it at your peril! Finally, for those who love the thrill of the race as a spectator, put the Laytown Races at Laytown Strand (September) in your diary, one of the only grandstand races held in Europe where on race day, the strand is closed from early morning and by the time the first race is ready to start, the tide has gone out and racing can commence – what better way to enjoy the glory of the Meath coastline than with thrilling equestrian sport and the freshest air brought in from the Irish Sea...