THIS WEEKEND’S Riverfest is expected to attract record crowds of up to 50,000 people, and provide an economic boost of €5.5m to the local economy.
Billed as Ireland’s foremost May Bank Holiday family festival, Riverfest will mark its tenth anniversary with dozens of events running across the city this weekend, from Friday to Monday. Major events on the bill this year include firm favourites such as the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run, Ireland’s largest barbecue cook-off; the continental fair of European artisan producers and Fashion Friday, the outdoor fashion extravaganza on Bedford Row.
The fireworks spectacular also returns this year, as does the Limerick Craft Fair, the Soap Box Derby and the Bartender’s Run.
Mayor of Limerick Cllr Kathleen Leddin, speaking at the launch this week, said “you can only be proud of what has been achieved by Riverfest” over the past 10 years.
There are also a number of impressive new additions to this year’s festival, including Fidget Feet’s Wired & Free - a spectacular performance on Sunday between 2pm and 5pm at Arthur’s Quay by Ireland’s leading aerial dance company.
Another new addition and one that will have Arthur’s Quay pulsating with Irish traditional sounds on Monday will be an open air concert by Sharon Shannon and others, including Limerick’s Johnny Fean, of Horselips fame, in his Fean & Travers duet with Steve Travers and all-girl Celtic group Liadan to bring the curtain down on the action packed weekend.
The Limerick City Challenge will take place on Bank Holiday Monday, in which teams of two will race around the city to complete a variety of challenges – physical, intellectual, musical, artistic and sensory – in an event that will raise funds for Limerick international aid organisation Bóthar’s Rwandan creamery project.
There will also be late night bar exemptions, subject to licence, live music and other entertainment at venues across the city.
Eoghan Prendergast, chief executive of the Limerick Marketing Company, said: “Limerick’s reputation as a city of sport has worked wonders in terms of attracting in large numbers here over the years. But from a social event perspective, no one event has done more for the city than Riverfest and this year, with Limerick’s status as National City of Culture, we have ramped activities and events up again.”
See Riverfest for full details and see the Limerick Leader print editions for more coverage of the weekend’s events.