The West of Ireland’s favourite family festival is back: Féile na Tuaithe – Turlough Park takes place at the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 May 2008. Now in its fourth year, this free festival has proved itself to be a favourite with all members of the family attracting up to 12,000 visitors over the two days. Attractions for 2008 include children’s activities, a Sportsfest for older visitors, rare breed cows, displays by working spaniels, music and stained glass making. A full programme of demonstrations and workshops is scheduled and there are marquees for both craft stands and food stalls.
Commenting on this year's programme for Féile na Tuaithe, Tony Candon, Manager Keeper said, "This is the fourth year that the National Museum of Ireland - Country Life has run Féile na Tuaithe in the stunning grounds of Turlough Park. Since it started, it has been going from strength to strength, with some 12,000 people attending last year.
"Not only will there be the Craft and Food Stands and Craft Demonstrations, all carefully selected for their very high quality, as well as entertainment, music and games for young and old, but I am particularly pleased that new this year we will have competitive sheep dog trials, rare breeds of cattle, and games for the elderly organised in conjunction with Mayo Sports Partnership and Go For Life.
Féile na Tuaithe will be two days fun, entertainment and enjoyment for all the family - and it's all free!"
Féile na Tuaithe – Turlough Park brings families together through fun and activity, all relating in some way to the Museum of Country Life. The atmosphere is carnival-like but the quality and careful choice of demonstrations, workshops and market stalls are surprisingly educational and instructive for young and old. Youngsters are introduced to fun and pastimes of bygone days - traditional games with the Education and Outreach Department, fly fishing on the lawn, birds of prey, storytelling and a master saddler accompanied by delightful miniature Shetland ponies. The older generation enjoy reminiscing and reliving elements of their earlier years. Everyone will love the Tug of War - some things just never go out of fashion. Museums these days can be a lot of fun for everyone.
The food tent has been extended this year, it was hugely popular in 2007 and all the favourites are back plus a few more delicacies to entice everyone. Everything from sausages to smoked fish and cheese to chutney will be on sale. A superb range of crafts will be on display and available for purchase: jewellery, felt and quilt work, willow craft, knitwear and woodwork to name but a few.
Sportsfest is a new attraction for Féile, it consists of games and activities for the over 55s and will be run in association with the Mayo Sports Partnership and Go For Life. Speaking at the launch, Charlie Lambert of the Mayo Sports Partnership said "Physical activity is really important for older people. Féile na Tuaithe – Turlough Park gives us a golden opportunity to introduce games and activities to the over 55s and this fits perfectly into the ongoing Go for Life initiative".
New this year is a free shuttle bus which will operate to and from Castlebar and Ballyvary. More details will be issued closer to the date. Extended parking is also available near the Museum.
Féile na Tuaithe – Turlough Park is kindly supported by:
- Fáilte Ireland West
- The Connaught Telegraph
- Cashin Print Services
- Mid West Radio
- Wendy Williams Design
The award-winning National Museum of Ireland, Country Life at Turlough Park near Castlebar, Co. Mayo is the only branch of the National Museum outside Dublin. It opened in September 2001 and is home to the National Folklife collection which represents traditional life in Ireland throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Fascinating artefacts deal with domestic life, agriculture, fishing and hunting, clothing and textiles, furniture and fittings, trades and crafts, transport, sports and leisure and religion. The Museum exhibitions will be open during Féile na Tuaithe and admission to the Museum is also free.
The Museum runs continuous programmes for adults, families and schools to raise awareness of the Museum collection and the associated traditional crafts, customs and traditions. The programmes consist of talks, demonstrations and performances as well as hands-on art and craft workshops.
Located eight km east of Castlebar (on the N5), the Museum’s facilities include free parking, shop and café, audio-visual room and activity and resource rooms. All Museum buildings are wheelchair accessible.