Discover Killaloe and Ballina takes place on Sunday 29th April from 1-6pm as locals and visitors alike are encouraged to come along and enjoy an afternoon of free activities with fun for all the family.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie the events include free 'Come and Try It' sessions for kayaking, sailing, powerboating, angling and arts; historic town walking tours, boats trips, tours of the Cathedral, community garden and self-catering accommodation. The market will be selling their produce Between the Waters and artisans their crafts in the Cathedral. Many hospitality and retail outlets will also have special promotions running. The Discover Killaloe & Ballina brochure is available throughout the town and online at discover.ireland.ie/lakelands. Events are being co-ordinated locally via a steering group formed from representatives of local businesses and chaired by local business owner Doug Hyde.
Organised by Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Development, North Tipp and Clare County Councils, the open day will provide an opportunity to raise awareness of the tourism assets of the Killaloe & Ballina region.
The Discover Killaloe & Ballina initiative is part of a broader campaign to develop and promote Ireland's Lakelands and Inland Waterways which aims to significantly boost visitor numbers to the Lakeland regions over the next three years.
Minister Alan Kelly TD at the launch of the Discover stated 'I'm delighted to launch this 'Discover Ballina/Killaloe' event and to see it come to fruition. The Ballina-Killaloe area is a hidden secret and I'm delighted Fáilte Ireland working with Waterways Ireland have chosen to recognise its great tourism potential and I only see that growing into the future. I want to recognise the efforts of all the local tourism and hospitality operators as well as the broader community of Ballina/Killaloe for their support for this and other initiatives that will go a long way to promoting the area and supporting local job creation'.
According to Éanna Rowe, Director of Marketing and Communications at Waterways Ireland– "Discover Killaloe & Ballina will highlight to locals and tourists the incredible diversity and quality of attractions, activities and entertainments in this area. It will enhance the capacity of everyone to promote Killaloe & Ballina nationally and internationally and is expected to have an impact on tourist numbers and the local economy."
Fiona Monaghan, Fáilte Ireland, said – "This is a great opportunity for the communities of Killaloe & Ballina to showcase the variety of tourism & hospitality experiences in their community, which we hope will encourage everyone to act as ambassadors for Killaloe/Ballina and Lough Derg for both domestic & international visitors. They may even consider inviting friends to join them for the weekend to sample the delights of Killaloe & Ballina and its environs. This celebration is a great example of community spirit and collaboration and I would like to commend the communities for their support & commitment. Ireland's Lakelands and Inland Waterways can provide unique experiences for everyone. The natural environment provides excellent opportunities to participate in a huge range of sightseeing, cultural and outdoor activities."
This year a Discover Killaloe & Ballina Colouring Competition is running in the lead up to the event inviting all local school children to discover their very own Killaloe & Ballina. The closing date for entries is 19th April. All entries will be on display in St Anne community College in Killaloe on 29th April from 1-5 pm.
Doug Hyde Chairman of Discover Killaloe & Ballina welcomed the event Also speaking at the event, said "this is a great initiative for Killaloe & Ballina and Counties Clare and North Tipperary as it gives a wonderful opportunity for people to realize the wealth of activity that is on offer for visitors and residents. We have a great product in and around Killaloe & Ballina and we need to show others what a brilliant place it is to stay in."