Festival fever to take over Adare this weekend

Colm Ward


Colm Ward

Robbie Smith who attends St. Nicholas National school gets ready for the big festival weekend in Adare. Picture: Sean Curtin
The village of Adare will be in full bloom this weekend as it plays host to two festivals celebrating different aspects of its rich heritage.

The village of Adare will be in full bloom this weekend as it plays host to two festivals celebrating different aspects of its rich heritage.

As part of the Festival of Faith and Flowers, the historic St Nicholas Church of Ireland will host a series of 21 floral displays carefully created by volunteer arrangers from across the county. The displays will tell the story of the church’s seven centuries at the heart of the local community.

Music recitals, guided tours of the historic cloisters and flower arranging demonstrations will also take place at the church.

A special Songs of Praise closing service will be held at 5 pm on Sunday to which villagers and visitors alike are invited. It will be led by Rector of St Nicholas’, Canon Liz Beasley.

Visitors to the festival will also be treated to a taste of the Church of Ireland’s famous hospitality with closely-guarded family recipes featuring on the menu at the specially-created vintage tea-room located in the hall once used by the Augustinian Friars as their refectory.

The Festival of Faith & Flowers will be open to the public between 10 am and 5.30 pm on Saturday and 11am and 5pm on Sunday. Admission is €10 which includes tea, coffee and cake.

Also taking place this weekend is the annual Féile na Máighe festival which will comprise a medley of music, poetry and dance celebrating the famous Maigue poets.

The official opening, which will be performed by historian and author Dr Matthew Potter, will take place at 8pm on Friday at the Fitzgeralds Woodlands Hotel. Dr Potter will be joined by the Limerick Gospel Choir, harpist Niamh O’Brien, poets from the Limerick Writers’ Centre and author John McGrath from the Sheanchi Poets Group in Listowel.

A puppet show, active poetry, intercultural dancing and a photography exhibition will take place on Saturday, culminating in an evening of music and poetry at St Nicholas Church.

Tickets for this event, which are priced at €10, are available at Adare Heritage Centre or can be purchased on the day at the Festival of Faith & Flowers.

On Sunday, Cór Cúl Aodha will sing the Ó Riada Mass at 11.30am in Holy Trinity Church, while later on in the day the Irish Harp Orchestra will give a performance in the Dunraven Arms Hotel.

The weekend will come to what is sure to be a very lively conclusion with the final of the international limericks competition organised by the Limerick Writers Centre.

The competition became an international event two years ago as part of The Gathering celebrations and was an enormous success. Entries are still being accepted and entry forms are available from The Limerick Writers’ Centre, 12 Barrington Street, Limerick.