NOT A SPORTS FAN? Is all this Olympic buzz eating in on your regular scheduled TV viewing? Fear not, there are plenty of other fun and enjoyable things to get you out of the house and away from your TV this weekend.
Here is a round-up of some of the events, other than the Olympics, taking place this weekend.
Castlepalooza music and arts festival opened yesterday, taking over the site of the 17th century Charleville Castle in Tullamore. Big Dish Go, Cat Dowling and Diamond Dagger are just some of the acts that are to set the stage alight during this three day festival. With tickets starting at just €65, they are a fraction of the cost of some of the larger music festivals.
Cork Pride is taking place this August Bank Holiday following a hugely successful turn out last year. Now in its seventh year, organisers decided to change the date this year from June to August so as not to clash with any other events. So there is no excuse not to join in with the artistic flare this weekend, with the parade kicking off at 2.30pm. They also need a hand carrying a forty foot pride flag through the streets, so the more the merrier.
To finish up the final weekend of Bray Summerfest, Royseven will take to the bandstand at Bray beach this Friday. The Meteor award winners have had over ten hit singles, most recently, ‘We Should Be Lovers’. Admission is free with music starting at 9.30pm. One of Ireland’s best loved 90s tribute bands, Smash Hits, will also be entertaining crowds in Bray this Sunday evening. Kitted out in all the fashion faux pas of the 90s, this band will be on stage from 9pm. A firework display will follow the music at 11.15pm. All events are free.
The Galway Races is running for seven days this year and concludes on Sunday August 5. If you feel like having a flutter, tickets can be bought on race days at the turnstiles. However, the Galway Races are not just about the betting and horses. There is a wide array of events for all the family including the Mad Hatter family day which takes place on the Sunday of the summer festival. Children under sixteen are admitted free of charge when accompanied by their parent or guardian. There is lots of entertainment to keep the kids entertained with bouncy castles, slides, face painting and crazy characters throughout the enclosure.
For all you Joe Dolan fans out there, the Joe Dolan Mullingar Festival is an event that has surely been earmarked in the calender this weekend. Taking place from Aug 3-5, this festival for avid Joe fans will give a free guided tour of the Joe Dolan trail on the Failte Ireland Belvedere bus. The tour will take in the Joe Dolan statue, the Joe Dolan bridge and Belvedere House and Gardens, where the Joe Dolan wall of fame is on display. There will also be a street festival with face painting, craft stalls and a free music stage with live bands and even a Joe Dolan impersonator contest. What’s not to love?
London isn’t the only place to see some sport this summer. World class lady golfers will be showcased this weekend at the Ladies Irish Open at Killeen Castle, Co Meath. Suzann Pettersen will be fighting to keep her 2011 Ladies Irish Open title, while homegrown talent Rebecca Codd and Tara Delaney will also be competing. It’s not all about golf – there is something for the whole family at the festival including live music, a dedicated kidzone and a traditional farmer’s market. Daily tickets start at €10.
Perhaps you are a bit of a train spotter? The Irish Steam rally is taking place this bank holiday weekend in Stradbally, Co Laois. Organised by the Irish Steam Preservation Society, the rally will feature 30 steam engines giving working demonstrations. There will also be a family carnival, trade stands, sheep dog demonstrations and a pony arena. Admission for adults is €10, but kids go for free.