While there is always something to see or do all year round in County Wexford, summer time truly is peak season for festivals in the Model County.
As the air gets warmer and the days get longer, the Wintery blues are well and truly over and Summer is in full swing. And hey! What better way to celebrate the Summer season than at a festival.
When it comes to selection and taste, there’s a festival for everyone. From homemade documentaries, Rockabilly dancing, poetry by the seaside or whiskey and food pairing, you’re sure to find your cup of tea no matter what.
We’ve put together a neat list of County Wexford’s finest festivals in order of occurrence, outlining what to expect and why you might be interested.
Wexford Drama Festival (1st – 9th March)
If you are a lover of the theatre well then, this festival is a must. Unlike most festivals which run over the course of a weekend, Wexford Drama Festival is a compelling drama contest whereby producers present their plays over a series of 8 evenings in order to be crowned winner. The diverse line-up of plays each year makes it a wonderful event that is suitable for all ages and preferences.
Who may be interested? Anybody, young or old, who enjoys a bit of drama in life (in a good way!), revel in the arts or enjoy a night away at the theatre.
Wexford Food & Wine Festival (25th – 27th May)
Why not stretch the legs, go for a stroll and enjoy the wonderful family-friendly event that is the Wexford Food & Wine Festival. Spoil your senses as the aromas of the cookery demonstrations and open-air food producers market fill the air. Too much to choose from? Narrow it down by joining in on any of the Wine, Craft beer or Irish Tapas Trails, carefully selected for you to experience the best on offer. Take it all in while absorbing the one-of-a-kind sounds and melodies of the buskers pebbled along the streets as well as a great selection of kid’s entertainment.
Who may be interested? Those who consider themselves a ‘foodie’ or an ‘Oenophile’ (someone devoted to wine), anyone interested in Artisan or authentic Wexford produce or simply those who enjoy good food, good music and good vibes.
Enniscorthy Strawberry Fair (1st – 3rd June)
This festival is a celebration of our County’s most acclaimed, regional food – the strawberry. There is a huge range of events organised around this Summer weekend from arts and literature, cookery demos and tastings, exceptional live music and of course children’s entertainment. There is even a Strawberry Queen Competition run annually whereby a Strawberry Queen is appointed as the ambassador of the festival for the following year. After celebrating 50 years in 2017, it is a very family-oriented festival during the day with lots of great entertainment at night too.
Who may be interested? Families and couples of any age looking for a fun-filled weekend break, music lovers and of course those seeking to better their knowledge of the Wexford strawberry.
Wexford Maritime Festival (23rd – 24th June)
This action-packed weekend is full of exiting and insightful events such as dramatic air-sea rescue missions, a fascinating air stunt display, a Viking village, a model boat village and lots more. Also showcased is the very best of Wexford Food all located along the stunning Wexford Quay. The festival is a lovely celebration highlighting the rich maritime history of County Wexford
Who may be interested? Thrill seekers interested in air displays, rescue missions and other exciting events, the culturally curious looking to broaden their Wexford Maritime knowledge, good food lovers and families of all ages.
Irish America Fest (6th – 8th July)
This event is a weekend of Irish American Celebration, highlighting the significant and unique link between the New Ross area and the Irish Americans of days gone by. To further your knowledge, explore the Dunbrody Famine Ship, visit the John F. Kennedy Trust and the Dunbrody Emigration Centre. Another great family weekend with food and music where our Irish American heritage is at the core.
Who may be interested? An essential for the culturally curious or anybody who is intrigued by Irish American History, specifically in County Wexford, another family friendly weekend.
Streams of Bunclody Festival (20th – 22nd July)
County Wexford’s newest family festival, commends accomplished artists from Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny, showcasing their work through a variety of galleries over this weekend. A very visually engaging festival with street art and craft, fire breathers, open-air market, art galleries, buskers and other live music and entertainment, it’s a great weekend away for all of the gang.
Who may be interested? Artsy people with a keen eye for detail and design, those interested in art galleries and unique works of art, those who love street art and entertainment.
Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival (3rd – 6th August)
This fantastic international event is a favourite amongst locals as well as tourists. Whether you want to swing and dance to the free outdoor Rock ‘n’ Roll gigs, sit down and watch cookery demos with both local and celebrity chefs, indulge in some food tastings and workshops, witness a significant 1798 Battle re-enactment or stroll through the Artisan open-air market, there’s never a dull moment in the town during this weekend and lots of the events are free. Younger festival goers are well catered for too with lots of fun filled activities and events such as Medieval crafts, Ancient East Storytelling, Punch & Judy shows, pizza making and much more.
Who may be interested? A real winner among families with children of all ages, Rock ‘n’ Roll enthusiasts, food and cookery lovers and the culturally curious interested in the history of the 1798 Rebellion.
Gorey Market House Festival (3rd – 5th August)
Another open-air festival that features a family fun day in the park with a variety of games and activities, street markets, vintage rally exhibitions and a busking competition. Each night there is an impressive line up on the main stage for the outdoor live music where the streets are alive.
Who maybe interested? Primarily music lovers who enjoy the outdoor festival atmosphere and also families and young children during the family fun day in the park.
The Little Festival at the Big House (18th – 19th August)
A truly fun filled festival for all the family specifically designed with children in mind. Over the two days you can look forward to a variety of arts and crafts, brilliant puppet shows, children’s entertainers such as comedians and jugglers, face painting, live music, great food to munch on though out the day as well as the usual children’s festival favourites.
Who may be interested? An absolute family festival with the children’s interest and entertainment at heart set in a gorgeous location with a stunning house and gardens for strolling too, its also the perfect opportunity for a family picnic.
Wexford Documentary Film Festival (21st -23rd September)
This Documentary Film festival takes places in the picturesque fishing village of Kilmore. The dynamic event provides an opportunity to see award winning national and international films exploring a range of topics such as social, political and environmental concerns. There is also a selection of filmmakers, local organisations and special guests who take part in after screen discussions canvassing their varying perceptions and views.
Who may be interested? Film makers or documentary film enthusiasts, those with a keen interest in social, political and environmental issues, anyone who wants to see the stunning views along Kilmore Quay while there is a festival atmosphere around.
Write by the Sea (28th – 30th September)
This literary festival is a platform for both positioned and emerging authors and writers. The weekend is packed full with insightful events such as interesting talks, interviews, readings and interactive workshops all aimed to encourage writing across a broad range of genres. The festival is a must to gain information in getting started in writing, writing for the stage, for radio and for tv and also covering writing for journalism.
Who may be interested? Those interested in writing, journalism or learning to write for tv, stage, radio or even just yourself! Or again, just to see the picturesque village of Kilmore with a festival atmosphere in town.
Wexford Spiegeltent Festival (12th – 28th October)
Wexford Spiegeltent Festival has grown to be one of the biggest and most successful multi-genre festivals in Ireland. Set in the beautiful surroundings of the Paradiso Spiegeltent, the Festival has a unique and enticing atmosphere, blending the Olde Worlde feel of the Spiegeltents with the best in popular entertainment.
Who may be interested? Everyone! The eclectic programme of events features contemporary music, comedy, theatre, film, classical music, burlesque and more.
Santa’s Enchanted Castle (24th November – 23rd December)
Santa’s Enchanted is a magical Christmas experience guaranteed to make your jaw drop and mind wander no matter how young or old. Each room is decorated in a different and unique way and is filled with your favourite characters from Disney, Pixar and so much more. Tour your way to the top of the castle where you finally get to meet Santa himself and Mrs. Claus.
Who may be interested? This festival truly is a fun for all, no matter what your age is! This Christmas tour comes to life with the magic from the the castle inside and out.