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Weird & Wonderful Festivals In Ireland This Summer 2023

100s of festivals in Ireland happen each summer. Here are our favourites for 2023, with some weird and wonderful themes and quaint local towns.

By Derry

Read on to find out the best festivals happening around Ireland in the summer of 2023.

Mary From Dungloe

When does it happen? August 2022

Where does it happen? Dungloe in Donegal

What exactly is the Mary from Dungloe Festival?

You've heard of Miss World?

Or the Rose of Tralee?

Meet their quaint (and rather sheltered) Irish cousin, Mary From Dungloe.

Lovely ladies from all over the globe will compete to be crowned the Mary from Dungloe 2022.

All entrants must carry a heritage connection to Ireland. They typically will originate from global Irish emigrant communities, as well as from all the 32 counties of Ireland.

Aside from the main competition, there are musical and arts events to be enjoyed.

Plus there's Donegal's favourite son, Daniel O'Donnell, to charm everyone's socks off:

How to Visit Donegal?

Visit delightful Donegal on our 7 Day Vagabond Magnetic North Adventure Tour

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival

When? September 2022

Where? Cape Clear Island, Cork

What? Enjoy tall tales? Ireland’s southernmost inhabited island hosts a celebration of this peculiarly Irish artform at the end of August each year.

How? Visit wonderful West Cork on our 8 Day Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Tour

Festival of Irish Coastal Rowing

When? August 2022

Where? TBC

What? See the proud tradition of clinker boat rowing in all its furious glory. The location is yet to be announced for 2022. But if you take one of our Dingle tours, you can try your turn at the oars on a traditional Naomhóg boat, rowing across beautiful Dingle harbour.

How? Visit Dingle on our 12 Day Vagabond Giant Irish Adventure Tour

Féile an Phobail / Festival of the People

When?  ugust 2022

Where? West Belfast, Northern Ireland

What? One of the biggest community festivals in Ireland is definitely a good news story to emerge from Belfast's troubled past.

How? Visit vibrant Belfast on our 7 Day Vagabond Magnetic North Adventure Tour

Kilkenny Arts Festival

When? 6-16 August 2022

Where? Kilkenny

What? The Marble City in Ireland's Ancient East lights up each August with parades, street performers, live music, comedy, opera and theatre.

How? Visit elegant Kilkenny on our 6 Day Driftwood Ancient Ireland Tour

Connemara Pony Show

When? August 2022

Where? Clifden, Galway

What? Dating back to 1924, this is a thoroughbred festival! It's all about Ireland's native horse breed. But Clifden is mighty craic too.

How? Visit charming Clifden on our 11 Day Driftwood Discover Ireland Tour


When? August 2022

Where? Waterford city

What? Street performers. Street buskers. Street parades. One of the biggest arts festivals in Ireland happens each August in Waterford.

How? Visit wonderful Waterford on our 6 Day Driftwood Ancient Ireland Tour

Béal Bán Races

When? Date TBC

Where? Ballyferriter, Dingle Peninsula

What? Enjoy horse racing on the beach. One of the most unique horse racing festivals in Ireland. Or, indeed, the world.

How? Our 7 Day Vagabond World Tour of Ireland visits Dingle

Galway Hooker Festival / Cruinniú na mBád

When? August 2022

Where? Kinvara, Galway

What? Hookers are traditional sailing boats associated with Galway Bay. This festival celebrates these iconic craft in the picturesque harbour village of Kinvara, on the edge of The Burren.

How? Visit Kinvara on our 8 Day Wild Irish Rover Tour

Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival

Exterior of the Matchmaker Bar in Lisdoonvarna, Ireland

When? September 2022

Where? Lisdoonvarna, Clare

What? Romantic hopefuls descend on this tiny Clare town for the world's largest matchmaking festival. Great craic - even if you're hitched!

How? Visit Lisdoonvarna on our 7 Day Epic Irish Food Adventure Tour

Puck Fair

Girl kisses goat at Puck Fair Festival in Kerry, Ireland

When? August 2022

Where? Killorglin, Kerry

What? 400 year old Puck Fair is one of Ireland’s oldest festivals. Aside from live traditional music, storytelling, dancing and fireworks, Killorglin crowns a wild mountain goat - the 'puck' - to reign over the town.

How? Visit Kerry on our 8 Day Vagabond Wild Irish Rover Tour

National Heritage Week

When? August 2022

Where? Everywhere!

What? More a collection of festivals in Ireland than a single event. Heritage Week sees cultural and historical shenanigans happen all across the country.

How? No matter where you're touring with us across Ireland, there'll be a Heritage Week event happening.

Read more about summer in Ireland

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