TI July13_Large Limerick Gathering Launch 11 (3)

By all accounts The Gathering Ireland 2013 (The Gathering) has been off to an enthusiastic start and continues to build momentum. The tourism initiative began with a bang on New Year’s Eve in Dublin and continues to sparkle across the country.
The Gathering is not a single event, but a concept and catalyst for Irish inspiration and creativity. The call went out to communities throughout Ireland to create grassroots special events for tourists, and the Irish have risen to the occasion. They are waiting to welcome you with open arms and showcase the very best that Ireland has to offer. You’ll find festivals, special sporting events, music and dance, or maybe even a gathering for your family name!

Limerick alone offers a fantastic line-up of 3 flagship events and 58 community gatherings!
The three Limerick Gathering flagship events include: Limerick City Weekend of Welcomes, October 24-28, an invitation home to Limerick’s diaspora and friends to celebrate the city’s rich and varied heritage and culture; The Limerick International Fashion and Design Week, October 29-3,) will spotlight Limerick’s strong international reputation in fashion education through Limerick School of Art and Design. The main highlight will be a competition for fashion students who will compete for International Young Designer of the Year Award; An International Gathering of Horse Racing Clubs and Enthusiasts, November 9-11, will attract horse racing clubs and fans to Limerick Racecourse for a huge weekend race and surrounding festivities.

The 58 community gathering in Limerick are comprised of clan gatherings and family reunions and unusual boutique gatherings including the Kilbehenny Potato Festival Week of Welcomes, August 13- 19. This spud spectacle in Kilbehenny village, will showcase the potato in every light possible with cooking demos, walks, talks and of course tastings…”I’ll take mine skins and all!”

The Tailteann Nua festival (August 2-5) is an exciting new event inspired by one of the old original Irish gatherings (circa 600-1170), ‘An Aonach Tailteann,’ a festival that brought sportsmen and artists together to compete and celebrate Gaelic culture.
Held on the campus of University of Limerick, Tailteann Nua festival aims to create an event which appeals to all who have an interest in Irish arts, sports and heritage, and are ready to have some timeless Irish fun! There are also options for on campus accommodations including en suite apartments offering 4 and 6 bedrooms ideal for families. Just open your door to the banks of the Shannon River and enjoy scheduled events that include a Ladies Gaelic Football Tournament, an international Step dancing competition, Set dancing (a bit like American Square dancing), music workshops, sessions, and performances, and genealogy workshops to help trace your roots.

As you can see, a visit to Limerick would be a delightful destination for anyone, but why stop there when there are so many more gatherings around Ireland in 2013. Listed below is a small sampling of more gatherings across the Island:
Ramp up for some good times at Castlepalooza Music & Arts Festival August 2-4 at Charleville Castle, Tullamore, Co. Offaly; Celebrate HAIR-itage at the Irish Redhead Convention August 23-25 in Crosshaven, Co. Cork; plan to be in Ireland’s oldest city September 6-19 for a week of food and fun at the Waterford Harvest Festival; step back into pre-1950’s rural life at the Hollywood Fair August 14-18 at the Hollywood Village, Hollywood, County Wicklow; day events and nightlife are in store for all at Rush Harbour Gathering Festival August 2-5 in Rush, County Dublin; listen or share your poetry on open mic sessions, workshops and the ever popular ‘Poetry Bus’ with fellow wordsmiths from near and far at Fermoy International Poetry Festival August 1, Elbow Lane, Fermoy, Co. Cork,
Carlingford Oyster Festival August 8-11 in Carlingford, Co. Louth promises four days of Oysters, Seafood, and seaside festivities for all ages; relive all the excitement, drama, color and majesty of a crowning of a High King of Ireland at the Tara Festival of the High Kings, Hill of Tara, County Meath September 14; American rock star Bruce Springsteen has descendants from Rathowen, County Westmeath. Will he show-up for the Rathowen Gathering August 31? He’s been invited and so are you; join boat clubs other canal enthusiasts for a weekend of merriment and family fun August 3-4 in Co. Longford at the Foigha Kenagh Royal Canal Gathering; celebrate the life and works of Ireland’s most famous bard August 1-5 at the O’Carolan Harp Festival in, Keadue , Co. Roscommon; Sligo county is throwing one big party August 1-7 with events to suite all ages at the Lunasa Festival; County Clare is noted for its’ Irish music and dance and you can get into the rhythm and beat and tap your feet at the Kilrush Traditional Music & Set Dancing Festival August 7 -11; enjoy some of the Emerald Isle’s water sports and watch the competitive harbor racing at the Inishbofin Regatta, Co. Galway August 18; and take me home to Mayo, land of pirate queen Grace O’Malley and Crough Patrick mountain, where the Straide Gathering, BallycastleBelderrig Gathering, Manchester Mayo Gathering, Attymass Gathering, Mayo North Welcome Home Gathering and the Inishturk Tale of the Tongs, all take place on August 1! Then time for a deep breath and maybe a nightcap at Matt Molloy’s in Westport?

With such a diverse and exciting calendar of events there’s not a better tourist destination in the world than The Gathering Ireland 2013. The Irish people have set the table for the biggest ‘People Party’ Ever! The Gathering Ireland 2013 provides the perfect excuse to reach out to friends, family, and descendants – And to make new friends along the way. Now is the time to claim your uniquely Irish experience.
Check for details and gatherings at www.thegatheringireland.com

The Celtic Connection July 2013 issue (Denver Colorado)

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