Nine festivals on the Three Sisters

Three Sisters Festival Network a range of river festivals this summer in nine river towns and villages of the county will promote increased awareness of the rich traditions of river culture in Kilkenny and also helping tourism.

Three Sisters Festival Network a range of river festivals this summer in nine river towns and villages of the county will promote increased awareness of the rich traditions of river culture in Kilkenny and also helping tourism.

From June to September, the communities on the Barrow, Nore and Suir will host a series of regattas of traditional water sport events, with a central feature of each regatta being a competitive contest between the communities racing cots- the native boats of the region. Each cot will be built by the communities themselves and they will be competing over the summer league series for the Barrow Nore Suir Perpetual Trophy.

Communities and visitors are invited to join in the festivities and support their river heroes as well as making the most of the rich cultural heritage of Kilkenny’s Rivers.

Spearheaded by Kilkenny LEADER Partnership (KLP), events both in and out of the water are being organised with boat cot racing and river sport events to family fun days and workshops focusing on river biodiversity. The communities of Thomastown, Inistioge, Bennetsbridge, Ballyragget, Goresbridge, Callan, Graignamanagh, Fiddown and Rosbercon will be the stage for the river festival programme and hosts for its own unique and vibrant community events.

The Three Sisters Festival series kicks off with Inistioge Summer Festival on 3rd June, which in addition to the an array of activities, games and entertainment will also feature kayaking on the River Nore, a workshop in cot building, archery, a carnival workshop, a lost skills pavilion and closes with a free open-air concert in the Millennium Garden.

Thomastown Regatta launches on 1st June with “Nore Flow”: An evening of song, poetry and folklore. Heritage exhibitions, talks, walks and angling workshops continue that weekend and every Sunday until the 1st July when the Thomastown Regatta will feature the King of the Nore cot racing championship, master classes, snap net fishing demonstrations, an audio visual display, medieval pavilions, archery and puppet shows.

On 24th June, Bennettsbridge Field Day will promise fun for all the family with kayaking on the Nore, archery, the Wheel of Fortune, golf, games to test your strength, face painting, hurling and camogie blitzes, dog show and a craft exhibition.

The next festival will be in Ballyragget on 8th July with a Duathalon of paddling and cycling, skills workshops and archery followed by Goresbridge on 15th July with kayaking and cot racing on the River Barrow and a field day adjacent.

Callan’s Abhainn Rí Festival will run from 27th July - 5th August 2012 with a field day and river activities on the 29th July and festivities ending in a grand spectacle on 5th August. Re-discovery of the life and value of the Kings River is a central theme of the Festival, so look forward to novel and entertaining river experiences. The Graignamanagh/ Tinnahinch Regatta will take place on 4th & 5th August with a riverside fun day on Saturday featuring medieval pavilions, archery, kayaking, boat building displays and river walks. Sunday will see the traditional regatta with cot racing, diving, swimming and high wire competitions.

New Ross Celtic River Festival on 24th August will include a parade of the town walls to the port, Viking Longboat rowing / sailing trips, cot racing on the Barrow, canoe trips, a cruiser treasure hunt and riverside entertainment. The 25th August will feature a medieval camp, craft fair and Cuchulan work camps. Fiddown on the River Suir will see the final regatta on 25th August.

New Ross Celtic River Festival on 24th August will include a parade of the town walls to the port, Viking Longboat rowing / sailing trips, cot racing on the Barrow, canoe trips, a cruiser treasure hunt and riverside entertainment. The 25th August will feature a medieval camp, craft fair and Cuchulan work camps. Fiddown on the River Suir will see the final regatta on 25th August.