UNSEASONABLE rain failed to put a dampener on the festivities for Limerick’s Riverfest weekend as tens of thousands of people flocked to the city to enjoy the May Bank Holiday festival.
A total of 29 events - from the soapbox derby race at Denmark Street, a massive barbecue in the same area, Sunday’s Great Limerick Run and the spectacular fireworks show over King John’s Castle - were all deemed a huge success.
Limerick Marketing Company boss Eoghan Prendergast said the knock effect of the various events was worth around €8m in tourism and business revenue to the city.
“Limerick has had a great weekend,” he declared. “I stood in the rain, and the goodwill and bonhomie, I think it says an awful lot about Limerick people.”
Most of the 13,000 people taking part in Sunday’s Great Limerick Run would have been affected by lashing rain, with the conditions the worst as the 10km run reached its climax around 3pm.
But there was little complaining, with one man merely joking that “It was like we swam the last mile in the Shannon”.
Speaking during the storm, co-organiser of the run, Cllr Joe Leddin said, despite the rain that there were “thousands of people spectating and cheering the runners on.
“It gives you a real sense of pride in Limerick. There is a huge sense of adrenalin here.”
Mayor Kevin Sheahan, a judge at the Riverfest barbecue competition, said: “Even though the weather was not great a lot of the day, the people came out and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The spirit of Limerick is alive today.”
Mr Prendergast says coming to Limerick in May’s first weekend is “now in people’s psyche”.
“This is the first big weekend of the summer, and we have put our stamp on it. Long may it continue,” he said.
- See the Limerick Chronicle and the weekend editions of the Limerick Leader for extensive coverage and pictures from both Riverfest and the Great Limerick Run