Carlingford Festivals & Events – What’s On

Carlingford & Cooley Peninsula Festivals & Events

Carlingford and the Cooley Peninsula is a hive of activity throughout the year with festivals and events for all to enjoy from Heritage, Food & Music Festivals to Sporting and Family Fun Events such as the Carlingford National Leprechaun Hunt held in March on the first day of Summertime and the Carlingford National Poultry Races held on Easter Monday each year are just a few of the things for families and kids to enjoy.

For up to date information please use the links provided. A more comprehensive list of what’s on locally can be found on the following website

January – February

The Brigid of Faughart Festival – Dundalk, Faughart and Ravensdale Co. Louth

St Brigids CrossThis festival celebrates Brigid of Faughart, Saint and Goddess, and the Celtic Festival of Imbolc or Spring in myth, landscape, folklore, spiritual customs, music, poetry and dance.


The Táin Walking Festival – The Cooley Peninsula, Co. Louth

Táin Walking FestivalCarlingford & the Cooley Peninsula in County Louth is the venue for the annual Táin Walking Festival. The festival attracts walkers from as far away as England and Holland. The walks are varied and cater for all levels of fitness. Contact the Cooley Peninsula Tourist Office for further information.

The Carlingford National Leprechaun Hunt – on the slopes of Slieve Foy

Carlingford Leprechaun HuntCarlingford National Leprechaun Hunt invites you all to Ireland’s last known leprechaun habitat – the Slieve Foy Mountain. It was awarded Special Protection Area status in 2010 for Little People by the EU. Carlingford holds an annual ceramic Leprechaun Hunt on Sliabh Foy mountain on the first day of summer-time each year.  100 Ceramic Leprechauns are placed in a designated area with rewards under each one. The total value is €1000. For more information visit the Last Leprechauns of Ireland


The Carlingford National Poultry Races – Carlingford Village Green

Carlingford National Poultry RacesEaster is the time of holy celebration, colorful Easter hats and chocolate eggs… Well, not in Carlingford in Co Louth – get set for the wackiest event of the year! The races are open to anything that lays an egg – The Easter Carlingford National Poultry Races are on! The sane and insane are invited to watch chickens, roosters, ducks and geese race to the finish line on the Village Green, Carlingford on Easter Monday. Cooley Peninsula Tourism What’s On page 


Vantastival Music Festival – Bellurgan Park, Bellurgan, The Cooley Peninsula

Vantasital Music FestivalVantastival is a family-friendly festival which takes place over the May Bank Holiday Weekend. Three stages of live music and entertainment host up to 70 acts over the course of the weekend, while a range of activities focusing on the campervan lifestyle bring an extra dimension to the only festival of its kind in Ireland. Other attractions include gourmet food stalls, festival traders, scheduled kids’ activities, documentary cinema, art, craft and theatre, ensuring that Vantastival has something for everyone, with or without a campervan!

Traditional & Folk Music Weekend – The Lumpers Bar, Ballymakellett, Ravensdale.

Traditional Musicians A Traditional and folk weekend in the Lumpers Bar with musicians from all over including students from colleges in Sweden and Northern Ireland. There will be the annual Charity Walk for on the Sunday with barbeque afterwards.

The Carlingford Pipe Band Festival – In and around Medieval Carlingford

The Carlingford Pipe Band FestivalCarlingford has a very active pipe band that have played internationally and nationally, the local band host it’s own piping festival on the last weekend of May. Contact Cooley Peninsula Tourist Office for more information


The Táin March – Rathcroghan, Co. Roscommon to Omeath on the Cooley Peninsula

Tain March smallThe Táin March is a 9 day event that recreates the march of Queen Maeve of Connaught from Tulsk in Co. Roscommon to Cooley in Co. Louth to capture the Brown Bull of Cooley.

Co. Louth Agricultural Show – Bellurgan Park, Bellurgan, Cooley Peninsula

Co. Louth Agricultural Show - Bellurgan Park, Bellurgan, Cooley PeninsulaThe County Louth Agricultural Show run by Dundalk Show Society takes place on a 15 acre field in front of Bellurgan House, an 18th Century Country House.


Carlingford Lough Endurance Challenge (CLEC) – Carlingford & Surrounds

Carlingford Lough Endurance Challenge (CLEC) - Carlingford & SurroundsCompetitors from all over Ireland and beyond will vie for places in the ‘CLEC‘ multi-endurance event. The Carlingford Lough Endurance Challenge or ‘CLEC’ is Ireland’s longest running multi-sport event, which traverses the local Cooley Mountains and navigates Carlingford Lough in Co. Louth and involves Trail Running, Mountain Biking and Sea-Kayaking. For further information visit the CLEC website Here

Zoe & John’s Summer Concert Series – Carlingford Heritage Centre

zoejohnZoë Conway and John McIntyre featuring special guests perform a series of Sunday afternoon concerts during July & August. Zoë and John are a folk duo from Ireland. They tour all over the world playing an exciting blend of eclectic fiddle and guitar music, bringing to the stage sympathetic arrangements of traditional Irish music, compositions and songs, old and new.


The All Ireland Poc Fada Championships – Anneverna Mountain, Ravensdale

All Ireland Poc Fada FinalsAll Ireland Poc Fada Hurling & Camogie Championships are unique in the GAA and Camogie Association’s calendars – Ireland’s top exponents take to the Cooley Mountains each year to compete in the All Ireland Poc Fada Championships. For more information visit the All Ireland Poc Fada website.

The Bull Raid – Bellurgan Park, Bellurgan

The Bull Raid BellurganThe Bull Raid is designed for mountain-bikers to have fun and be competitive and all levels of cyclist, beginner to expert, are welcome. The race runs for 12 hours non-stop, with mixed teams and solo riders competing, and a six-hour format is also an option. The course length is approximately 11 kilometers and the winners are the racers who complete the most laps in the timeframe. Bellurgan Park is the perfect setting for The Bull Raid, the purpose built circuit through Tippings Wood and the mountains of the Cooley Peninsula making the venue one of the premier mountain biking locations in the country.

The Carlingford Oyster Festival – Carlingford & Surrounds

Carlingford Oyster Festival stall Tholsel StreetThe Carlingford Oyster Festival promises four days of Oysters, Oysters, Oysters and lots of Fun for all the Family! Offering a four day fun-filled festival for the whole family is packed with traditional children’s activities including Magic Show, build a Sand Castle, Face Painting, the ever popular Teddy Bear’s Picnic, Free Kayaking in the Harbour, Children’s Funfair & Bouncing Castles. For more information visit our Festival page Here (Event details will be updated closer to August 2013).

Carlingford National Heritage Week – Throughout Carlingford & the Cooley Peninsula

Carlingford National Heritage WeekHeritage Week each year is promoted by the Heritage Council which seeks to protect and enhance the richness, quality and diversity of our national heritage for everyone. Working with their partners, particularly at a local level the Heritage Council’s main aim is to increase awareness of Irelands national heritage and to highlight it’s importance to public policy and everyday life.

Thomas D’Arcy McGee Summer School – Carlingford & Carlingford Heritage Centre

Thomas D'Arcy McGee Summer SchoolThomas D’Arcy McGee was born in Carlingford, Co. Louth, Ireland on April 13th 1825 and at seventeen he emigrated to the United States. He became one of the founding fathers of the Canadian Confederation, but was assassinated on April 7th 1868. For more information visit the Carlingford Heritage Centre.


Wee Binnian Walking Festival – The Cooley Peninsula, Gullion and Mournes

Wee Binnian Walking FestivalWith nine walks of varying grades over three days, 3 of which take in the Cooley Mountains, a Blister Ball on Saturday night gaining its own legendary status and a welcome from all the club Visit the Wee Binnians website for more information Here.


Festival of Horrors – Bellurgan Park, Bellurgan

Festival of Horrors - Bellurgan Park, BellurganAt the end of October Bellurgan Park comes alive with spooks and ghouls, zombies and ghosts for a week-long Halloween festival, encompassing a range of indoor and outdoor daily Halloween-themed activities for all ages. The Festival of Horrors includes a trail of terror through the house and grounds of Bellurgan Park, while children’s entertainment runs earlier in the day.

November – December

Féile Mí na Nollaig Cairlinn – Carlingford

The Carlingford Choral Festival
The Carlingford Christmas Craft Fair
Carlingford Christmas Lights Illumination
Santa comes to Carlingford
Carlingford Christmas Discount Shopping Night
Carlingford Heritage Centre – Flowers for Christmas Demonstrations. Cooley Peninsula Tourist Office

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