FESTIVALS IN KERRY
Kerry will play host to several wonderful festivals throughout the year. Many of the festivals in Kerry celebrate the uniqueness and charm of their local areas. Expect fun, creativity, craic and often a touch of the extraordinary!
The September and October shoulder season months are the perfect time to visit Kerry and catch a festival. Children are back in school, the crowds have dwindled, you don’t have to queue for a seat at the bar and the weather is often fabulous.
Read on for a list of our top pick Festivals in Kerry.
DIARMUID & PAULS GARDEN FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 10th, 11th, 12th – BALLINGSKELLIGS
There will be demonstrations, a Great Unfair Gardening Quiz, Gardeners Question Time, Rory’s Rare Plant Sale, an Evening Ball and much much more.
Diarmuid Gavin and Paul Smyth have announced a gardening get together to meet the community that has emerged off the back of their nightly instagram broadcast Riff Raff.
Anybody with a love of gardens and a passion for plants is welcome to come and join in the fun. Tickets available online.
FENIT’S FIRST SWIMFEST – SEPTEMBER 11th, 12th – FENIT
A weekend of open water swimming set in the sheltered waters of Fenit in Tralee Bay.
Swim distances range from 750 metres to 4.5 km. Courses include the iconic lighthouse swim and the challenging swim across Tralee Bay.
This weekend finishes with a fun ‘around the pier to beer’ swim and barbecue.
Everyone is welcome!
THE KERRY CAMINO – SEPTEMBER 17th, 18th, 19th – THE DINGLE WAY
Starting from St John’s Church in Tralee and finishing in Dingle Town, this three day guided walk is sure to be a unique experience you won’t forget.
Highlights include Blennerville (pictured, credit @mandybesnapping), Fenit Lighthouse, The Slieve Mish Mountains, Inch Beach and Minard Castle on your approach to the quaint Dingle Town.
Grab a Kerry Camino passport to collect stamps along the route. Tickets still available online.
LISTOWEL STORYTELLERS FESTIVAL – SEPTEMBER 17th, 18th – LISTOWEL
This annual event is a little gem of a festival. Listowel is steeped in literary history and celebrates the art like no other.
Get involved in story walks, concerts, workshops, a healing hour and open mics for story swaps.
Buy a weekend ticket for an access all areas pass.
LISTOWEL HARVEST FESTIVAL RACES – SEPTEMBER 19th-25th – LISTOWEL
A week packed full of serious racing and serious fun.
Many horses who do well in Listowel have gone on to achieve tremendous success on both sides of the Irish Sea. Namely Royal Tan, Captain Christy, Davy Lad and more recently Minella Times.
Go with a gang and get tickets for the track for the best craic.
KILLARNEY TRAD FEST – SEPTEMBER 23rd, 24th, 25th, 26th – INEC, KILLARNEY
What better was to celebrate the much anticipated return of live music than to immerse yourself in this four night extravaganza.
With performances from Eilis Kennedy, Jimmy Murray, Matt Molloy and Donogh Hennessy it’ll be a great excuse to dust down those dancing shoes and give them a proper night out.
Tickets on sale now!
VALENTIA ISLAND TRIATHLON – OCTOBER 2nd – VALENTIA
It’ll feel like a festival when you cross the finish line!
The setting alone on the beautiful Skellig Ring is reason enough to tog out for this glorious swim, bike and run challenge.
BALLINCLARE HORSE FAIR – OCTOBER 3rd – ANNASCAUL
The small village of Annascaul was home to the Antarctic Hero, Tom Crean and this bi-annual fair is one of the oldest in Ireland.
Browse the bric-a-brac stalls and watch horses, chickens and sheep sell to the highest bidder.
The village pubs are usually alive with music and the famous Mutton Pie just has to be sampled.
KERRY FILM FESTIVAL – OCTOBER 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th – KILLARNEY
Kerry International Film Festival (KIFF) brings the best of film to Kerry for four exciting days in October injecting a healthy dose of art and culture into the community every year.
Screenings are held in Killarney House, St Mary’s Church, the ANAM Centre as well as the cinema and make for atmospheric viewing.
Who knows, Hollywood might come calling for one hard working local artist. You can say you seen it here first!
K-FEST – OCTOBER 22nd, 23rd, 24th – KILLORGLIN
With an emphasis on emerging artists and musicians this cool festival uses unoccupied spaces in the town to showcase art in bespoke pop-up galleries and venues.
Nominated for IMRO best small music festival, expect the best in up and coming Irish bands, music acts and DJ’s with genres from jazz to pop to rock to punk to electronica.
There is also a packed programme of drama, plays, poetry, film, comedy shows and a cabaret circus.
Find the full programme of events on the K-FEST website.
VALENTIA HALF MARATHON & 10KM – OCTOBER 23rd – VALENTIA
Your chance to run, what might just be, Ireland’s most scenic race.
Starting from Knightstown on Valentia Island you are surrounded by the Atlantic on all sides.
Enjoy views of Dingle Bay, Blasket Islands and The Skelligs as you power round the course!