Author: Kevin Gallen
Ah summer time in Galway, breathe it in, get a breath of that country air, breathe the beauty of it everywhere, get a look at that clear blue sky. Summer days spent lying on the grass down at Spanish Arch, not a care in the world…
There are plenty of attractions to catch the eye in Ireland during the summer. June, July and August sees a host of music festivals including electric picnic, oxygen and the midlands music festival but it’s out west in Galway where the best Irish summer festivals are happening.
Things seem to go a bit quite towards the end of may and early June with many of the students leaving the city but its not long before the town is buzzing again with the prospect of a fun filled summer
The Galway arts festival kicks off on the 17th of July. The festival offers the best in music, theatre and dance, visual art and comedy. Street theatre also plays a major part in the festival providing wonderful entertainment for the summer shoppers. The organizers have gone all out this year bringing in some of the finest national and international acts including such homegrown talent as Bell X1 and David Kitt and major stars such as Lambchop and David Gray.
The biggest festival in Galway has to be the Galway races. The Races become more popular every year with record-breaking crowds thronging the city. There is hardly an empty bed or empty bar for that matter to be found in the city.
The festival attracts punters from every walk of life. There are big time gamblers willing to risk the shirt of their back as well as the more casual gambler who is likely to stick a pin in the form guide and risk a euro or two on the result.
For those who just cant get enough gambling there is the option of a trip to Salthill to try your luck in the casinos. One armed bandits or slot machines as some people call them are only too willing to take your money .The Galway Race festival lasts for 7 day and runs from July 31st to August 6th.
The oyster festival, one for the food connoisseurs among you takes place in September. This event has proved hugely popular over the years bringing many new faces and strange accents to the city. The pride of the Galway oyster festival is the Native oysters called “Ostrea Edulis”. I’m told the oysters go down particularly well with a few pints of Guinness. Not being an oyster eater myself I will have to take their word for it.
Another treat for the artistically minded community in Galway is the film fleadh. This event gives local filmmakers a wonderful opportunity to showcase their talents. The festival also attracts many international filmmakers as well as their famous leading men and women. In the past such luminaries as Jim Sheridan, Woody Harrelson, Sir Richard Attenborough and Michael Moore have attended the festival
So Galway for the summer then? Have I convinced you? Go on you know you want to…:-)