With free parking in the town centre car parks from 10 a.m. and an eclectic line-up of events scheduled throughout the day, there will be something for every taste this coming weekend.
This year’s festival will be extended into the night with ceol beo faoin spair, an open-air live music event, and lots of added attractions.
The 2012 Croí Chaislen an Bharraigh festival is a truly local event which will showcase the best of local talent, arts, crafts and everything the heart of Castlebar has to offer.
The festival kicks off with a bilingual turas of the town by Brian Hoban where you can learn lots of interesting historical facts about Caislean an Bharraigh. Interested people should meet at the Church of Ireland at 10 a.m.
From 10.30 a.m. join us on Main Street and Castle Street and soak up the carnival atmosphere. From local markets, arts, crafts and food stalls to children’s amusements, shopping promotions and fantastic giveaways, a fantastic schedule is in place.
Be transported back to Ireland’s bygone era as you wander down Castle Street where you can watch displays of true craftsmanship by a thatcher, ironmonger, admire the vintage cars and chat with the characters of yesteryear and learn how our ancestors lived fado, fado.
Midwest Radio will be broadcasting throughout the day from Ellison Street where there are sure to be giveaways go leor.
If you have a keen interest in music and wish to learn the basics of playing a unique instrument - the ukulele - the Linenhall Arts Centre will be running a ukulele workshop from 11 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. And put what you have learned into practice between 2 and 4 p.m. at the Féile Ukulele at the Humbert Archway on Main Street.
Or why not join the amhran Gaeilge singing competition outside Parson’s Shoe Shop on Main Street between 12 noon and 2 p.m. If you know a song as gaeilge don’t be shy, come along and share your talent. Details on how to register are on facebook.com/heartofcastlebaralong with some songs you would least expect to hear sung as Gaeilge.
After lunch is a good time to get active again with the Loch an Eanaigh lake walk being led by Brian Hoban. If you haven’t already explored the scenic beauty of Castlebar’s once hidden treasure join Brian at 2 p.m. at Lough Lannagh Holiday Village for this free walking tour and see for yourself the jewel in Castlebar’s crown, which has benefited from recent investment.
At 2 and 4 p.m. Small Maggie will be hosting a bilingual puppet show for all her little fans outside Elverys on Bridge Street.
Ever wondered why Louisburgh is called Cluain Cearbán in Irish, or what Turlough actually means? Uncover the story of the landscape around you at a talk on placenames in the Old Erris Hotel, Castle Street, at 3 p.m. with Fiachra Mac Gabhann. There will also be some beautiful old photographs of the streets of Castlebar on display.
Also at 3 p.m. judging for the All Affairs children’s fancy dress competition will take place outside Hynes Shoes.
The Linenhall Arts Centre will hold a street drama outside Elverys on Bridge Street at 3.30 p.m. This will be improvised drama at its best.
Other events that will take place throughout the day are the Tóraíocht Taisce - shopping treasure hunt. Collect your treasure map from the tourist office at anytime and explore the shops of Castlebar for your clues and be on the look out for duinearbith with a Labhair Gaeilge Liom sticker in the participating shops.
There are lots of great shopping vouchers and spot prizes to be won. Forms must be returned by 4.30 p.m. to the tourist office.
There will be face painting, balloon shapes, children’s amusements on Market Square, bouncy castle and hair braiding.
Please note Main Street and Castle Street will be closed to traffic from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with diversions in place.
Linenhall Street, Tucker Street and New Antrim Street will be closed to traffic from 7 p.m. to 12.30 a.m.
From 7 p.m. the focus will move down town to the Linenhall/Tucker/New Antrim Street area for the evening entertainment where a fantastic line-up of fresh local talent will take to the stage.
First up will be Struck followed by Stone Cold Sober, Everyday Solution and finishing off with What the Funk.
Throughout the evening enjoy the fire-eaters, magicians, circus acts, carnival games, bouncy castle and test your stamina at the bucking bronco.
Times and venues may be subject to change. Keep up to date on Facebookwww.facebook.com/heartofcastlebar.