The Rose Festival in Castlerea
The Castlerea Rose Festival is one of the most successful and entertaining family festivals in the West of Ireland. It is a week-long festival that has been running every year since 1988. There are many free events such as the Grand Opening Parade, Live Street Music, Market Day and of course the crowning of their very own Rose of Castlerea.
The O’Carolan Festival of Harp and Traditional Music
An August Bank Holiday weekend festival that began in 1978, the O'Carolan Festival in Keadue, a small village with a population of 200, commemorates famous harpist Turlough O'Carolan who lived in the area and includes concerts, ceili, harp tuition and recitals as well as a harp competition.
The festival mixes some of the previously popular acts as well as new, exciting talent visiting for the first time. Running for more than thirty years, artists visit from across Europe as well as Japan, the US, Canada and Australia.
Ballaghaderreen Secret Village Festival
Launched in 2014 to bring some life back into the village, this festival celebrates music, freedom, artistic impression, natural spiritualism and mysticism. The festival takes place in a sheltered forest just a five minute walk from the town, over the second weekend in August.
The line-up is an eclectic mix of mostly unsigned Irish acts from genres such as mainstream pop and folk to the more underground, urban sounds of hip-hop, grunge and fusion. There are also traditional craft workshops from blacksmithing to pottery, mud sculpture, mask-making, djembe drumming and more. There is free admission for children under 12.
Strokestown International Poetry Festival
The 21st Festival will take place between 2 – 6 May 2019. This festival of immersive contemporary poetry offers a forum for well-known poets and welcomes large audiences to readings. The poetry is not just local, but national and international, with the aim to support and develop emerging writers. The festival also aims to bring poetry into local cultural life, to the widest possible audience.
Loughglynn Music Festival
This August Bank Holiday weekend festival is a must for all country music fans, with events held at the Community Centre, Creaton’s Loughglynn and The Village Inn. Loughglynn, is itself a picturesque village and the lake from which it gets its name is great for twitchers, whilst nearby Errit Loch is one of the most famous fishing lakes in County Roscommon.
The festival, run as a fundraising venture for the Community Centre, offers a great weekend of entertainment with big showband names and the annual crowning of the Queen of the Woodlands on the Saturday evening.
Lough Key Forest Park
Lough Key Forest Park, 4km from Boyle has long been popular for its picturesque ruins, including a 12th-century abbey on Trinity Island and a 19th-century castle on Castle Island offers several marked walking trails through the 350-hectare park was once part of the Rockingham estate, owned by the King family until 1957.
There is also an informative visitor centre and the Lough Key Experience includes a panoramic, 300m-long treetop canopy walk, which rises nine metres above the woodland floor with sweeping lake views, an outdoor adventure playground and indoor activities for rainy days.