TENS of thousands of people are expected to descend on Limerick city this weekend for the annual Riverfest.
Last year 40,000 visitors descended on Limerick for the four-day festival, which aims to showcase all that is great about city and boasts fireworks, food, fashion, music, theatre and Powerboats on a packed agenda this year - and, with a survey indicating that last year’s Riverfest was worth some €3.54m to the city, it is much needed in economic terms.
For the first time ever, eight powerboats will take to the River Shannon for the first round of this year’s Irish National Powerboat Championships. The boats are capable of reaching 0-60mph quicker than a Ferrari F40 and large crowd is expected to view proceedings from Bishop’s Quay on Sunday afternoon.
“The boats reach close to 46 miles an hour, which is very fast on water,” explained Darragh Quaid, who will be a pilot on board one of the two man craft. “They are faster accelerating than a Ferarri F40. They are capable of pulling 3Gs in a turn, so it takes some effort to hang on. This is our first time in Limerick and the event is not weather dependent - the worse it is the better! It is good family friendly fun,” he added.
Up to 50 teams are expected to take part in the Great Limerick BBQ on Saturday on George’s Quay, a colourful event that is the beating heart of the many Riverfest events.
Food lovers will be well catered for throughout the weekend, with the continental market running all four days of the festival on Michael Street.
Two outdoor fashion shows will take place on Thomas Street on Friday, showcasing the finest of the city’s fashion boutiques at 1.30pm and 3.30pm.
Orchard Theatre company host a 24 hour theatre challenge in St John’s Church on Friday and Saturday, and local choirs will also be performing around the George’s Quay and Michael Street areas on Saturday, while fireworks will explode over the city around 9.30pm on Saturday.
Tuam’s finest sing-song merchants The Sawdoctors will bring their raucous collection of tunes to the Big Top in the Milk Market on Friday night with a headline show in the city that also features local band Animal Beats.
For a full line-up of events, download the Riverfest programme from www.riverfest.ie.
On the sporting front, this weekend also features racing at Limerick Racecourse, Munster versus Ulster at Thomond Park and the third annual Great Limerick Run on Sunday.
Elsewhere in County Limerick, there will be plenty of Craic and Ceoil during this weekend’s Fleadh by the Feale in Abbbeyfeale and for those who prefer outdoor pursuits then why not head to Kilfinane for the Ballyhoura Walking Festival.