Kilgarvan Traditional Music Festival

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Kilgarvan offers an eclectic mix of attractions, activities and events. The annual music festival in June and the Kilgarvan Annual Fair in August are the highlights of the village year.

Top musicians from all around Ireland perform in the local bars. The music weekend is organised by local publicans. There are also workshops which focus on traditional musical instruments.

You can plan a fun musical holiday with Kerry Fiddles who offer a unique chance to learn the Irish fiddle at morning classes, explore the countryside in the afternoon and spend most evenings at sessions in and around Kilgarvan.

Kilgarvan has a long-standing tradition of music. The event is expected to draw hundreds to the village and according to one of the organisers, it will give Kilgarvan a real boost.

Some years ago a group of the villagers got together and decided that the village needed to celebrate its culture and they came up with the idea of hosting this festival.

Kilgarvan previously held the Kerry County Fleadh in 1969, 1970 and 1971 and hosted the Munster Fleadh Ceoil in 1972. The heritage and folklore festival, Tionól, was also held in the village in 1997, when it provided a weekend of lectures on Kilgarvan folklore and the area’s heritage of music, song and dance.

A full programme of events is planned; pubs will provide music every night and all afternoon on Saturday and Sunday. Kilgarvan will be the home of traditional music for the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Kilgarvan is a village near the Cork Boundary, Kilgarvan was the site of the Battle of Callan in 1261 which reduced Norman power in Ireland for almost 300 years.] The battle site is located in the town land of Callan (pronounced Collon).

Nearby the town are the ruins of "Ardtully House". This house, built in castle style by the wealthy landowner Sir Richard John Theodore Orpen (1788-1876), Knight of Ardtully, in 1847. It replaced a number of earlier structures, dating as far back as 1215. Directions on how to find the Castle are painted on the wall of a house on Kilgaravan Main Street.

The town is settled on the banks of the Roughty River which flows into Kenmare Bay.   Kilgarvan is centrally located between Kenmare and Killarney off the N21 on the R569 road. It is an ideal touring base for Gougane Barra, west Cork, the Ring of Kerry and the Dingle Peninsula.

It offers visitors stunning walks and hikes, including the Coillte Millennium Forest at Rossacroo-na-loo (with some of the oldest oak trees in Ireland). The village is south of Killarney National Park and to the North of Gougane Barra Forest Park.

As well as a wide variety of scenic mountain and river walks, Kilgarvan also offers a selection of outdoor activities. Fishing here is a hidden secret with a good run of grilse and a small run of spring salmon in the Roughty River.

Information and fishing permits can be obtained from The Kilgarvan Roughty Anglers Club. The River Valley Stables offer visitors a chance to trek back into majestic and River Valley Stables offer visitors a chance to trek back into the majestic mountains of South Kerry.

In the village, you will find two village stores, one with a post office and filling station. The Village Grill provides basic meals and takeaways and there are six pubs, some with live music. 

Venture slightly further out of town to Ireland’s highest pub, Top Of Coom which has long been a haunt of musicians, singers, drinkers, hill walkers, spoofers, poets, sheep farmers and bikers, to name but a few. There is also a welcoming and friendly selection of accommodation providers who will always have their doors open waiting for you.

Kilgarvan Motor Museum has a wide and interesting range of old cars and hosts car rallies. Opened since 1985, the Mitchells have lovingly restored vintage and classic cars, including Rolls Royce, Bentley, Alvis, and an Armstrong Siddeley is displayed alongside a large collection of automobilia. During this period visitors from all over the world have visited them, many of them part of a club and even bringing their own cars.


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