The 14th Annual Graiguenamanagh ‘Town of Books’ Festival will take place in Graignamanagh on September 12, 13 and 14. This unusual event continues to catch the imagination of the book buying public and once again is expected to bring thousands of people to Graignamanagh over that weekend.
Graignamanagh ‘Town of Books is different from other Irish Book fairs. Usually these fairs constitute a row of tables in a hotel ballroom. In Graignamanagh the whole town is involved with booksellers taking over whole shops and carrying quite an amount of stock. The organisers, Graignamanagh Town of books Committee in association with Abbey Hall, produce a book trail map and visitors to the town can guide themselves into every nook and cranny to find that special book they require. There will be sellers of antiquarian, second hand, new, remainder, children’s, and other specialist subject areas.
The organisers of this successful book weekend are looking forward to another bumper weekend in Graiguenamanagh, particularly if we get some more of the fine weather experienced over the summer. Despite the recession the organisers are delighted to report that the number of booksellers applying to trade for the festival is actually every bit as good as last year, so there will be plenty of bookshops for people to browse through. In fact the biggest headache at the moment is securing enough locations for all booksellers to trade from.
Graignamanagh ‘Town of Books’ is also unique in that it is held over three days and is not just about selling and buying of books. There are several fringe events that give this book fair the atmosphere of a true festival. Visitors can take walks by the river barrow or hire bikes to cycle down river to the historical St. Mullins just four miles away. There is also Mount Brandon which overlooks the town and has an eight mile walk around it where anyone can enjoy the view of the entire south east from its hill top. The walk itself is singed under the National Loop walks of Ireland and is easy passable with historical sites to view there also. There will be traditional Irish music in the bars on Saturday night hosted by Love Graig development committee for the first time in the festivals history to give the night life entertainment a boost for all locals and visitors who intend to stay around for the festival weekend. Food craft stalls will be set up at the boat house car parking area which is located along the quay beside the river. Other attractions are various children’s art competitions organised by the local schools, live street buskin musicians including the graignamanagh brass band will perform during the days of the festival. Publisher, Author and Historian, Ultan Cowley will give a presentation on his work based on the history of Irish Navvies, “The Men Who Built Britain” (Wolfhound Press 2001) Finally kayaking on the rRiver Barrow is freely available and there is easy access to hire equipment or bring your own to enjoy a paddle on the river before or after strolling through the large selection of book stalls. You can view more on our web site at www.graiguemananaghtownofbooks.com
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