Ballyheigue Summer Fest

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Ballyheigue Summer festival puts the sun into Summer.

The Ballyheigue Summer Festival is a fantastic family event, packed with activities for kids of all ages. Events in the past have included pig racing, sandcastle competitions, king of the beach, terrier racing, puppet shows, slip to shore swim, tops of the parish, table quiz, as well as lots of live music at the festival marquee. New events scheduled for 2016 include Human Drag Racing, American Gladiators, Fear Factor Ballyheigue Style, Ballyheigue Ball roll and more. Don't miss Live at the Marquee which will feature one of Ireland's best up and coming bands.


Ballyheigue emerged into the weekend's brilliant sunshine as a coastal paradise with as summery a summer festival as has been held in the county in many years.

Ballyheigue emerged into the weekend's brilliant sunshine as a coastal paradise with as summery a summer festival as has been held in the county in many years.

With no fewer than 65 events running throughout the weeklong Ballyheigue Summer Festival that runs until Sunday, the programme is likely to see the best festival there in many years thanks to the very timely arrival of that most elusive of summer visitors - the sun.

Organising committee member and county councillor John Brassil said Ballyheigue was delighted with the start to the festival.

"We had an unbelieveable night for the opening night on Friday with 2,000 people down for the pig-racing in a fantastic start to the festival!"

It wasn't all about organising for John, however, as he was among the top contenders in the long puck competition from the Black Rock. John came second in a noble attempt with Christopher James winning outright after a puck-off. The Black Rock is 4kms removed from the lifeguard hut on the beach, making Christopher's return to base in 25 pucks all the more amazing. Kevin O'Mahony and Damian Casey made it back in the same, but lost to Christopher in the puck-off.

Ballyheigue father-and-son Andrew and Sean Thornton were soaking in the atmosphere. "It's mighty altogether!" Andrew said. "It's a real community thing; we all help out and when you get weather like this it's a real bonus!" An avid golfer and all-round sportsman, Sean was loving the sports programme put on for the week. That and the fact that the event attracts so many people to Ballyheigue.

Local lads Fraser Irvine and Seán O'Sullivan, along with Ballyduff friends Thomas O'Connor and Anthony O'Carroll and Causeway man Kevin Slattery were taking it all in outside the Seashell. Looking forward to the concerts and the influx of visitors for the week they were, in the words of Sean, simply 'chilling' on Saturday evening.

Clash of the Clans was the big thing for Mark Stack who was on the prom with his young tractor fan William, and friends Tom and Niamh O'Connor. "My father said we'll have to come out in style for the Clash of the Clans!" Mark laughed. There aren't enough O'Connors yet to make up the numbers but Tom was looking forward to Sunday's King of the Beach run. "I'm definitely going to win it!" he predicted confidently.

"It's just a fantastic festival and there's a great programme for the kids with puppet shows, piles of games on the beach and much more," Niamh said.




Ballyheigue Summer Festival 2016 takes place from Monday July 4th to Sunday July 10th. . Please visit ourFacebook Page for the very latest news and details of events, or to contribute. Also view our website for details of other events and accommodation and activities in the area.

Download 2016 Event Guide (PDF)

Last years festival included a host of events catering to all age groups including, pig racing, sandcastle competitions, king of the beach, terrier racing, puppet shows, slip to shore swim, tops of the parish, table quiz, as well as lots of live music at the festival marquee. New events add last year year were Human Drag Racing, American Gladiators, egg toss, Ballyheigue Ball roll and more.

Pervious festivals saw the addition of "The Gathering of the Clans", Dancing at the Crossroads, Farm Skills competition, Black Rock Long Puck, Flat Pack Craic, Passion Fashion and more. Live at the Marquee will be "J90" one of Irelands best bands with a new album just out. Beach Party VII take place on Saturday night and the "Funked up Foam Disco with DJ Ray takes place for Youths on Friday Night.



A FANTASTIC family fun festival will take place in Ballyheigue next month with loads of free entertainment and a fashion show extravaganza.

The 12th annual Ballyheigue Summer Festival takes place from Sunday, July 6 to Sunday, July 13. This year’s programme is packed with lots of fun for everyone of every age, and one of the numerous highlights will be the Fashion Show in the Community Centre on Wednesday, July 9.

Themed on both Summer Style and Getting Racy, the show will feature the latest looks from all of Kerry’s top boutiques and designers and admission is only €10 including complimentary drinks reception.

With two Best Dressed Ladies Prizes, spot prizes and the finale of Ballyheigue’s Best Male Stylist 2014 it promises to be a great night. Both the fashion show and the raffle are in aid of Jackie Crowe.

Participating shops include Carraig Donn, Friendex and Miss Captain (Claire Murphy), JJam headwear, Divas & Dudes, Nuala McCarthy Womenswear, Shaw’s Department Store, D3 Menswear Tralee, Rockalilly, So Elegant HeadPieces, Emer O Mahony Millinery, Aoife Hannon Millinery, Jasmine of Killarney & Tralee, Annburys Boutique, Pamela Scotts, DV8, Ryles Menswear and Michael Guineys. Hair is sponsored by Colette’s Salon and make up by Doon Beauty.

There will be two Best Dressed Lady Competitions on the night. The first, judged and sponsored by Linda Murphy from Rockalilly Boutique Tralee, will be for the most original and glamorous Summer Style!

The second, judged and sponsored by Diane Jeffers from Jasmine Boutique Tralee, will be for the lady with the most Racy style! Also well known fashionista, style icon and fashion columnist Orlagh Winters will be there on the night to give tips on what to wear to win at the races this Summer.

Of course, no fashion show in Ballyheigue would be complete without showcasing the style of its most famous fashion designer, Don O’Neill, who is creative director of THEIA in New York.

The night will also feature the finale of the Search for Ballyheigue’s next Top Male Stylist. Four well known men from Ballyheigue will each style a top model from the Kerry’s top award winning agency, Upfront Model Management, using the latest collections for the Summer from Carraig Donn.

Each budding male stylist will then present his model on the runway and talk through his look. The audience will decide who wins. It promises to be unmissable and lots of fun too. Ballyheigue native and top DJ, Ray Stack, will both MC and produce the fashion show. Doors open at 7.30pm. Tickets are only €10 and will be available on the night.

“Ballyheigue Summer Festival is in its twelfth year and has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2003,” said John Brassil, Mayor of Kerry, and Chairman of the Ballyheigue Summer Festival.

“This year promises to be another exciting and fun filled event with a programme of activities that caters for the tastes of all ages and interests. The festival is family centred with activities running throughout the week for children, teenagers and adults. We make the most of our natural assets and this means that Ballyheigue’s beautiful Blue Flag beach accommodates an array of events including sand castle competitions, Kids Fun at the Beach and Beach Treasure Hunt, plus the King of the Beach 5km Run and the Slip to Shore 2km swim for adults,” he said.

For more information, and a full programme of events, visit their Facebook page Ballyheigue Summerfest, or website


2016 Festival Highlights (Click on links for more info)

  • Pig Racing
  • Kids Fun on the Beach.
  • Ballyheigues Bushtucker Trial
  • Half on the Head (Kerryhead Half Marathon)
  • Ballyheigue Ball Roll
  • Terrier Racing
  • Real Wheelbarrow Race
  • King of the Beach Race
  • Slip to Shore Swim
  • Live Music at Kirbys Marquee (see panel on right for details)
  • Dog Show
  • Brain of Ballyheigue
  • Sea to Summit Run
  • Historical Walk
  • Mens Soccer Shootout
  • Irelands Fittest Farmer
  • Farm Skills Competition
  • 6th Annual Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship
  • Carnival Queen Selection
  • Grand Parade



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