LIMERICK’S Riverfest, which features Ireland’s ‘largest BBQ competition’, was launched in the city today.
The event is returning for an eleventh successive year, and in tandem with the Barringtons Hospital Great Limerick Run, makes the May Bank Holiday one of the biggest weekends on the summer calendar.
This is the first year that the event will be run by the Galway based Grooveyard, the Galway based event company who ran the recent St Patrick’s Festival in Limerick.
Notable this year is the addition of a new Riverfest Busking competition and the Maldron Hotel Riverfest on the Shannon - a series of water based activities and events - while the massively popular Coors Light Riverfest BBQ competition is again returning to the Robert Street/Denmark Street area of the city.
The fireworks display has been moved to the Sunday night of Riverfest, while the popular Fashion Friday, Continental Market and the Soapbox Derby all again return over the four days of the festival.
“It’s hard to believe that this is the 11th Riverfest in Limerick and the city has really taken ownership of the May Bank Holiday weekend,” said Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Kevin Sheahan.
“It has developed into a major festival that has a growing reputation at a national level and repeat visitors come back to stay and enjoy themselves in Limerick year after year which is testament to the success of the event.
“I’m delighted with this year’s line up and I’m hoping that the sun shines on Limerick as it usually does for what is without doubt, Limerick’s most adventure packed weekend of the year.”
James Gavin of Grooveyard said: “Over the last number of years there has been some great events that have happened throughout Riverfest. Obviously we are maintaining these events, trying to grow them. It has been a hugely successful event over the last 11 years and something we are very proud to be involved in. But we have added a few elements in terms of the weekend, like the busking competition, just to get a nice vibe around the streets on the Sunday.”
Hotels are already at full or close to full occupancy levels, and Sean Lally of the Strand Hotel said he believed Riverfest to be one of “the best festivals” in Limerick.
“It attracts the biggest crowds and takes over the whole weekend. It is a fantastic weekend to come to Limerick - you get to see everything and we get people who book in year, after year, after year.”
Fringe events for the festival include a family fun fair which will take place in Arthur’s Quay Park, with kids’ arts and crafts in the Hunt Museum also planned throughout the weekend.
Top acts Nathan Carter and Hudson Taylor are both set to rock the Live at the Big Top venue in the city’s Milk Market over the weekend.
Applications are now open for the Coors Light BBQ Competition, Soapbox Derby and the Busking Competition. See Limerick.ie for more details.