TEN years on from its inaugural year, Riverfest and the May Bank holiday weekend in Limerick is set to generate an estimated €5.5m for the local economy.
Ireland’s foremost May Bank Holiday family festival will mark its tenth anniversary with the biggest weekend party of the year in a fortnight, as Limerick opens its arms to over 50,000 people for the annual Riverfest, from May 2 to 5.
Attendances this year are expected to be the largest yet and major events on the bill again this year include firm favourites like the Barrington’s Hospital Great Limerick Run, Ireland’s largest barbecue cook-off, the Coors Light Riverfest BBQ Competition; the continental fair of European artisan producers and Fashion Friday, and the outdoor fashion show extravaganza on Thomas Street at 1.15pm, 3pm and 5pm with live jazz from the Savoy Jazz Swingtett at 7pm.
The fireworks spectacular also returns this year, as does the Limerick Craft Fair, the Soap Box Derby and the Bartender’s Run on Monday, May 5.
However, there are also a number of impressive new additions to this year’s Riverfest, 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.
There will also be late night bar exemptions, subject to licence, live music and other entertainment at venues across the city.
Speaking at the launch of the event, Mayor of Limerick Cllr Kathleen Leddin said “you can only be proud of what has been achieved by Riverfest. The May Bank Holiday weekend is Ireland’s youngest bank holiday and Limerick has pretty much grabbed ownership of it at a national level from a festivals point of view.
“It’s hard to believe that ten years have passed since the first event but how it has grown. We now have repeat visitors coming to stay and enjoy Limerick during the Riverfest and I really believe that there is plenty of more room for growth. Limerick can make this one of Ireland’s leading festivals each year and one that people clamour to attend,” she said.