Limerick will be Ireland’s festival capital this weekend as hordes of thrill-seekers, culture vultures, food connoisseurs and fun runners flow into the city to celebrate Riverfest Limerick 2019. The banks of the Shannon will be the epi-centre of the first major national festival of the year as thousands are set to attend events that celebrate the city and it's prized asset, its waterways.
Mayor of the City and County of Limerick Cllr James Collins said Riverfest Limerick has established itself as the country’s go-to destination for festival followers for the May Bank Holiday weekend.
“Riverfest Limerick 2019 promises to be another huge success, having already built a reputation as the country’s top festival destination for what is officially the first bank holiday weekend of the summer. The key to the festival has been the diversity and this year there’s a huge variety of activities and events, for both day and night time. There’s an incredible programme scheduled over the weekend, something for everyone,” he said.
There’s a vast array of different activities also on offer for those hoping to keep their feet on the ground, including an artisan food market, a coarse fishing competition on the Abbey River, an art fair, a colourful flotilla, Riverfest Opera at the Sailor’s Home and Hunt Museum and a tour of an Irish naval vessel.
Family favourites include the BBQ on the Boardwalk with the top prize sponsored by A Room Outside, the Panoramic Wheel and the Riverfest Fireworks, where world class aerial dancers Fidget Feet will perform works of beauty, mystery and charm over the Shannon!
Fashion Friday at Bowes Ryan Café in Arthur’s Quay Shopping Centre will be hosted by Ireland’s leading fashion stylist Celia Holman-Lee and the MC will be Ireland’s ‘Most Stylish’ Online Influencer Louise Cooney who was crowned with the honour just last week at the VIP Style Awards. Fashion Friday’s free shows at 11.30am and 3.30pm will showcase the latest trends from Limerick’s top fashion houses and designers.
The weekend’s ‘Big Gigs’ will include The Stunning and the Frank And Walters Live at the Big Top on Sunday and Qween at Dolan’s on Saturday night. Comedy heroes Dermot and Dave will take to the stage in UCH on Friday night. Also, this year, the Abbey Theatre Production of The Country Girls will be performed at the Lime Tree Theatre from Thursday, April 30th.
At quayside, there will be annual favourites such as the Riverfestival Village, at Arthur’s Quay Park – a weekend-long melting pot of foods, crafts, vintage amusements, street performers and live musical entertainment.
Sunday's Regeneron Great Limerick Run, which is Ireland’s fastest growing mass participation event, is another of the top features of the weekend, drawing an anticipated 14,000 people.
New to this year’s line-up is the Riverfest Chill Out Zone. Families seeking light relief from the excitement can wander down to the Hunt Museum Garden where Limerick Autism Group will ensure it’s a festival for all as they provide a sensory room to enable children and adults with autism to access a safe space to take time out from the crowds and noise.
Riverfest Limerick merchandise including beanies and hoodies in aid of the Mid-West Simon Community will be also be available for sale from the Riverfestival village in Arthur’s Quay Park.
Said Sheila Deegan, Culture and Arts Officer with Limerick City and County Council: “The success of Riverfest is an indicator of how far Limerick has come in terms of its development as a vibrant, creative, industrious and welcoming city. Festivals bring people, communities, families and friends together and we know large-scale events like this drive tourism and boost both economic and creative growth. Riverfest, and the joy, celebration and appreciation it creates, is central to community life in Limerick.”
Said Laura Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications, Limerick City and County Council: “What makes this festival so special and exciting is the huge amount of family friendly events that will appeal to everyone. The time of Riverfest Limerick on the May Bank Holiday is great too as it’s a wonderful start to the summer festival season. Limerick loves Riverfest because it brings a new energy to our beautiful city, with thousands of people coming together in the spirit of celebration and fun. Keep an eye out for Riverfest Limerick brochures and people can check out our Riverfest Limerick website and social media accounts for all the most up to date info on Limerick’s best festival weekend.”
Riverfest Limerick 2019 is run on behalf of Limerick City and County Council by Grooveyard Event Management.
Festival partners include Arthur’s Quay, Mr Binman, Live95, Limerick Post, Spin SouthWest, Limerick Leader and A Room Outside.