Raft and duck racing planned for river festival

A river festival will be the highlight of the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival’s programme of free community events in Carrick-on-Suir on the June Bank Holiday Weekend.

A river festival will be the highlight of the Clancy Brothers Music & Arts Festival’s programme of free community events in Carrick-on-Suir on the June Bank Holiday Weekend.

The river festival will take place at Sean Healy Park along the banks of the Suir on Bank Holiday Monday on June 3.

It will feature raft races, duck races, cot building, basket weaving, face painting, street entertainers, a Viking re-enactment, arts and craft for children, music and dancing.

There will also be a gig stage with live music from Amber Jean, Two Time Polka and The Fayerweather Band.

Another festival highlight will be the busking competition that will fill streets of the town with music from groups and solo artists on Saturday, June 1.

The competition will be in two sections: U-18s between 1pm and 3pm, and seniors from 3.30pm to 5.30pm. Winners will be announced on the day and there will be cash prizes.

Busking competition entries are being taken at Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre and forms can be found on the Clancy Festival website.

Elsewhere, Brewery Lane Theatre will host a folk club for the first time on Thursday, May 30.

Local musicians and guests will perform informal sessions at the club. Singers and musicians are welcome to come and join in with a song or two or even a recitation. The folk club will start at 8.15pm and tickets will cost €5.

The annual Eoghan Power Memorial Song Contest will take place once again at Figgerty’s Pub on the Sunday night.

This is always a great night and never fails to showcase so much talent. Entry forms can be obtained on the Festival website.

There will also be music sessions in many of the town’s pubs throughout festival. Sessions will be hosted at The Comeragh, O’Ceallachain’s, The Strand Bar, Figgerty’s, Pollard’s and The Old Mill.

For those interested in outdoor pursuits, a river walk to Dove Hill will take place on the Sunday at 9am. Walkers will meet at the Davin Club.

There will also be a guided walking tour of Carrick-on-Suir on Saturday, June 1. It will leave from Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre at 10am. Tickets cost €5.

Cycling fans will have the Bobby Power Carrick Wheelers Challenge Sportive 160km road race to watch. It will start and finish in Carrick-on-Suir on Sunday, June 2.

For the foodies, there will be the Farmers Market on Friday, May 31 and a Festival of Food in the town on Saturday, June 1.

Tickets for the Damien Dempsey concert at The Strand Theatre on May 31 are now on sale from Carrick-on-Suir Heritage Centre.

Brewery Lane Theatre will host concerts by Jimmy Crowley and Charlie McGettigan, songwriting workshops and lunchtime theatre as well as the folk club.

The Festival Art Trail programme will bring beautiful and interesting exhibitions of art, photography and installations created by more than 100 artists to historic landmarks, community centres, theatres and empty retails spaces throughout the town.

Caolan Deehy-Power is steering a stimulating street art project where local youth use spray paints and kitchen appliances to capture “Carrick in the year 2040”.

Tramore artist Joe Fogarty is creating an Alice in Wonderland sculpture using wire. Children will be able to have their photograph taken with the sculpture of their favourite mad hatters tea party characters. He plans to donate the wire sculpture to the town.

Students from local schools and Foroige Neighbourhood Youth Project will celebrate their creative talents at the Friary Gallery and Community Arts Centre. And the treasure hunt trail for children, coordinated by Aideen Meany, is back due to popular demand.

Ormond Castle will host the “Comings and Goings” art exhibition about Ireland’s emigration and The Gathering.

Visitors to the Art Trail exhibitions can pick up a card at one of the venues and get it stamped at each art venue they visit along the trail.

If you collect at least six stamps, including one from one of the pop up shops, you will be in with a chance to win a voucher worth €100 which can be spent on any of the art exhibited during the festival.

There will also be a pinhole camera workshop presented by Susan Sayers in Brewery Lane Theatre while Martin Fahey, founder of Southpaw writers’ and fine art printing studio in Waterford, will present workshops on Unwind & Bind book making and “The Children’s Print” in the Clancy House Community Business Centre

Meanwhile, the Festival organisers are running a competition at the moment. Look out for helium balloons in local shops. If you pop a balloon with a ticket, text the code to 087 903 2471 to receive your prize. Prizes include tickets to festival events. The big prize - a €200 airline voucher to bring someone home for the festival - has already been won.