Cultural Ireland – Kells Summer Festival 2008

Kells is a very important town for Irish heritage, especially well known because of the Book of Kells which is widely regarded as Irelands most important national treasure. The Kells Summer Festival is a great opportunity to experience Irish culture and learn something about Irish history all at the same time as having lots of fun. If you are in Ireland in early July, then you should take a look and you won’t be disappointed.

The Kells Summer Festival is an interesting mix of Heritage Festival, Cultural Festival and general Fun Festival. It runs from Wednesday 2nd July to Sunday 6th July and 2008 is the 17th year it is being run. The programme is chock full of exciting events, such as music, comedy, family carnivals, street arts and workshops. You can be sure that you will find something to entertain you. Over the course of 5 days there will be lots to keep you entertained, here is a little sample of what to expect.

On the Wednesday there will be a French market where you can sample all the finest in French cuisine, wine and crafts. There is a childrens fancy dress party, and the theme this year is “Past to Future”, so anything goes from Caveman to Darth Vadar. And to top off a fantastic opening day Des Bishop is running his latest gig, ‘Tongues’, in the Headford Arms.

The Thursday is equally full of fun, in fact there will be a funfair in the town green running all day long (it also runs on Friday). If you are a dog lover then the Dog Show is a must see. There are prizes in many categories including Smallest Dog, Noisiest Dog, Longest Tail and others! To keep the Comedy aspect of the festival going there will be the one man comedy play “Whacker Murphys Bad Buzz”, as written and performed by Edwin Mullane, being performed in the Heritage Centre.

Friday, sees the introduction for the first time of the Flower Festival as hosted by the Saint Columba’s Church. Check out the large flower arrangements as they depict various aspects of Irish heritage. The Kells Country Market, is worth visiting and having a look at the local crafts and produce, you never know you might find something you like. To finish the day off there is a good old fashioned Western Hoe Down in Jack’s Railway Bar. Prizes for best western garb and there will also be a BBQ and Disco to help keep you going all night long.

On Saturday you will have the Kells Farmer Market and the Festival of Flowers continues in Saint Columba’s Church. Something else for the kids is the Inflatable Village, with Bouncey Castles and a super slide. There are a few other kids oriented activities such as face painting and a puppet theatre, but please remember that all kids must be attended by an adult. The day is rounded off with a Beat on the Street with such performers as Ham Sandwich, Radioactive, Don Elliot and there will also be a Samba band, all leading up to the Fireworks display being held at midnight.

Sunday is an all together more relaxed day with an Antiques & Collectibles Fair in the Headfort Arms and an open mic night in Mill Lane Maudlins. After that all the pubs let loose with their own send off for the end of the festival.

How to get there: Kells is a town in Meath that lies on the N3 road, and is situated 16 km from Navan and 65 km from Dublin. When you are there you might make some time to visit the Abbey of Kells with its Round Tower and Celtic Crosses. The Abbey is located where the original monastery was that produced and held the original Book of Kells. Today the original Book of Kells is held in Trinity College Dublin but a copy is held in the Abbey.

If you are looking for other activities to occupy yourself then have a look at our other Ireland Car Rental blogs. After you are done with the festival you might enjoy heading out to see the rest of the Irish countryside so take a look at our Car Rental Ireland options.

Just remember to enjoy your trip to Ireland and if you have any tips or questions of your own, why not post a comment below?