From Castlebar - County Mayo -

Museum of Country Life
Feile na Tuaithe - 26-27 May 2007
By Bernie Byron
21, May 2007 - 07:55

Here comes the Summer and families countrywide are looking for day trips and places to go. Feile na Tuaithe - Turlough Park at the National Museum of Ireland-Country Life in Castlebar, Co. Mayo has got to be the best fun and best value festival around. Free entry, games, children?s activities, storytelling, music, face painting, demonstrations and workshops. It's a two day celebration of country life and traditions taking place on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 May 2007.

Feile na Tuaithe - Turlough Park also incorporates a tented craft and organic/food market with an extensive range of carefully selected stands. from cheese to chocolate makers and from bodhrans to beeswax. Standholders are all craftworkers or artisan food producers with quality and sometimes unique produce for sale. Tempting tastings will be on offer to visitors enticing them to purchase. A live food demonstration involves Eileen Healy and Mary Walsh from Ballycastle practicing traditional breadmaking in a pot oven over an open turf fire.

Everything takes place in the glorious gardens of Turlough Park House with the wonderful contrast of Victorian high gothic style original house and the ultra-modern museum building. Traditional children's games with the Museum's Education and Outreach Department draw children like magnets to the lawns, Queenie-i-oh, hopscotch and tag win out over the Playstation for one weekend at least. The fabulous Fanzini Brothers are a highlight on Saturday - helterskelter fun and action with fire eating, mini-cycles and juggling. Families will love listening to stories and tall tales from the well known seanchaí …ddie Lenihan, and both adults and children always clamour to try fly casting with Graham Williams.

One enchanting attraction is an adventure in music with the Pied Piper, Mary Curran, calling children to her as she walks playing music around the grounds. Each delighted child becomes part of an impromptu open air orchestra performing to an entranced crowd. A new feature this year, are magnificent birds of prey from Eagles Flying where visitors can get up close and personal with an eagle or an owl!

In keeping with the Museum's own focus, there is a full programme of demonstrations suitable for the whole family. These include sheep dog handling by Michael Hopkins, the art of the blacksmith by Ray Munnelly, basketmaking, corracle making, wood turning with Ambrose O'Halloran, beekeeping by Matt Moran and making harvest knots with the Museum's Education and Outreach Department.

This is the third year of Feile na Tuaithe - Turlough Park which is now firmly established as a leading family festival. It attracts over 6,000 visitors over the weekend. The festival runs from 12noon - 5.00pm each day. Feile na Tuaithe - Turlough Park is a natural extension of the Museum's purpose of bringing families together to enjoy quality time and learn about the traditions of bygone days. It is also an opportunity to attract people who are coming through the gates for the first time.

© Copyright 2007 by Castlebar - County Mayo -