Cork Harbour Festival is the largest annual event in Cork Harbour offering a nine-day celebration of maritime culture, from 1-9 June 2019.
Festivities begin on the June Bank Holiday Saturday, 1 June, with Ireland’s premier rowing spectacle, Ocean to City – An Rás Mór; continue throughout festival week with 70+ events in Cork City and Harbour; and culminate with SeaFest on Cork’s quayside from 7-9 June.
Whether you’d like to get on the water or stay on dry land, there are dozens of festival events to enjoy for the whole family – many of them completely free. From sea shanties to storytelling, boat trips to shore festivities, this year’s festival has something for everyone.
GET ON THE WATER: If you have never been on the water in Cork Harbour, now is your chance! Gather the family and join the Cork City to Cobh harbour tour; learn the ropes of dinghy sailing; try scuba diving; row a currach; or explore Cork city by kayak. With over 30 water-based events to enjoy, you can paddle, row, sail, SUP and surf your way through the festival!
OPEN AIR ON DRY LAND: Explore the harbour’s most beautiful woodlands while trying family orienteering; bring your bicycle and come on the harbour pedal; or make memories at the open-air Johnny Cash Tribute Concert on Spike Island.
FAMILY FUN: Kids will love to practice their pirate circus skills; play a 14ft drum on Ocean to City day; get crafty; learn about marine life; try dinghy sailing; currach rowing; or join the 3 For the Sea beach day on Sunday 2 June.
SPECTACLE: Don’t miss the Ocean to City – An Rás Mór, Ireland’s premier rowing event, on Saturday 1 June. This impressive long-distance rowing race attracts hundreds of participants from all over the world competing in everything from traditional wooden boats, currachs, gigs and longboats to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and stand-up paddle boards. Come along and cheer on the magnificent fleet of 200+ boats from the many vantage points along the harbour.
HERITAGE: Visit Camden Fort Meagher or take the boat to prize-winning Spike Island where you can enjoy wonderful views of Cork harbour. Visit an authentic Irish smokehouse in Belvelly; take a ghostly walking tour in Shandon; discover Cork’s Docklands area; or enjoy the beautiful vistas from Elizabeth Fort.
CULTURE: Featuring five different exhibitions as well as storytelling, sea shanty singing, poetry, concerts and a film screening, there is plenty to offer the culture vulture. On 6 June, join The Gab for an evening of stories from the river, or see the Molgoggers sea shanty ‘buoy band’ perform in The Goldie Chapel of Nano Nagle on 7 June. Throughout festival week you can visit the Kids’ Model Boat Exhibition in Cork City Library; see the Primary Schools Initiative Projects in the Port of Cork; or visit art exhibitions by Ita Freeney and Johnny Bugler.
TALKS: From 4 -6 June, come along to the hugely popular Lunchtime Lectures with the UCC Department of History at St. Peter’s Church. Learn about marine plastics; join the currach seminar; or find out about the nutritional properties of seaweed.
John Mullins, Chairman of Port of Cork Company said: “Cork Harbour Festival is fast becoming one of the best maritime festivals in Ireland. If you have never sampled any water-based activities in Cork Harbour, now is your chance to try something new!”
Lord Mayor of Cork, Cllr. Mick Finn said: “Cork City Council is delighted to support the festival, which is delivered successfully each year by a team comprised mainly of volunteers, I encourage everyone to fully embrace this year’s festival; enjoy, get out on the water and see the city from another perspective.”
Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Patrick Gerard Murphy added: “The Festival provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the towns and villages of Cork Harbour, stimulating economic growth for the region, which we at Cork County Council very much welcome.”
Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork, Fáilte Ireland and UCC MaREI, and made possible with the help of dozens of Event Partners and hundreds of volunteers. The Media Partners of Cork Harbour Festival are The Echo and Cork’s 96FM.
The full festival programme of over 70 events is on corkharbourfestival.com.
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