LIMERICK is set to host a massive party on the banks of the Shannon this May Bank Holiday weekend, featuring a barbecue, rugby and an open air gig.
Up to 40,000 people are expected in the city for the event, which will feature Ireland’s largest barbecue, a free open air rock concert, water sports on the Shannon, and a huge firework display.
Mayor Maria Byrne has this Thursday launched the countdown to the annual Riverfest festival, which will take place between Friday, April 29 and Monday, May 2.
Thousands of rugby fans are set to enjoy the festivities, after Munster secured a semi-final Amlin Cup berth against Harlequins to take place on Saturday, April 30, kick off 1pm.
And following this, the Great Limerick Barbecue will fire up on George’s Quay. An amateur competition, the event will host three different cooking categories based on flavour, texture and presentation.
Up to 70 teams will do battle.
Also on a packed Saturday, music retailer HMV has teamed up with the Riverfest organisers to present a live open air concert.
Bands Royseven, Na Fianna, The Shoos, The Flaws, The High Kings, Ivan St John, Mark O’Connor and Windings will perform free in Arthur’s Quay Park.
To bring the day to a close, there will be a huge fireworks display over the Shannon from 9pm.
Meanwhile on the Sunday, the second annual Great Limerick Run will take place, with thousands of runners set to descend on the city for three races - a marathon, a half-marathon, and a six-mile jog.
Across the entire weekend, there will be a continental market and artisan craft market in the courtyard beside Michael Street.
Speaking at the launch, Mayor Byrne said the city is firmly on the map as a festivals and events destination.
“After the success of our St Patrick’s festival, it’s great to see Limerick in a celebratory mood launching Riverfest, and for people to enjoy what our city has to offer. The Great Limerick Run along with the barbecue, the big match between Munster and Harlequins and all the other events taking place means that Limerick will be alive and buzzing and a fantastic place to be over the May Bank Holiday weekend,” she said.
For more information on the festivities, visit www.riverfest.ie.