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Cork Harbour Festival is sure to make a big splash this June Bank Holiday Weekend.

And the festivities are only beginning on Saturday 1 June, with nine days celebrating all things maritime taking over Leeside and Cork Harbour — for those with their sea legs and landlubbers (or land lovers) alike.

The showcase event that draws huge crowds every year is Ocean to City – An Rás Mór.

The race is the largest of its kind in Ireland and attracts competitors from all over Europe and as far as the USA.

The 200-strong fleet will give spectators a chance to see an array of vessels from traditional wooden boats, currachs and gigs to Chinese dragon boats, kayaks and even stand-up paddleboards.

The race starts in Crosshaven at 10.30am on Saturday and there will be free family entertainment, music and food at some of the best viewing points along the race route at Cobh, Passage West, Blackrock Pier and the city centre.

If you’re feeling energetic, you can cycle alongside the fleet for part of the racecourse from Father O’Flynn Park in Passage West.

Or you can get caught in the rhythm at the Port of Cork with a 14ft drum for all to play – no experience of drumming necessary.

Take your place at the finish line at Lapp’s Quay with live race commentary from Cork’s 96FM and food stalls, street performances, balloon artists, DJs, drummers and much more to keep you entertained while you welcome the participants as they complete this spectacular race.

If you prefer to stay on dry land, you’ve so much to choose from – with Camden Fort, Elizabeth Fort and Spike Island all open for tours every day of the Bank Holiday weekend.

As the sun sets there will be some very special performances happening including the Johnny Cash Tribute on Spike Island on Saturday evening, and a swashbuckling concert performance of The Pirates of Penzance on Sunday at Cork Opera House.

Most of the festival events are family friendly, making this the ideal way to have some great waterside adventures with the kids (and the young at heart!)

There’s everything from children’s storytelling in Passage West Library to Cobh Harbour tours.

Bring your trainee pirates to the Circus Factory on Saturday for some pirate circus training, or get the whole family team working together for orienteering on Sunday and Monday with Bishopstown Orienteering Club.

Join the ‘3 For the Sea’ Beach Day in Myrtleville on Sunday, or being bidding artists to the Crawford Art Gallery on Monday for a family-friendly art workshop and tour.

But no Cork Harbour Festival would be complete without a chance to get out on the water.

SailCork in East Ferry have an open day on Bank Holiday Monday, and you can try sailing at the world-famous Royal Cork Yacht Club with free tasters on Sunday.

With a weekend packed full of water-based activities, you can brave a high-speed harbour tour, paddle, kayak, sail, surf or SUP your way through the weekend.

Get all the details of the full festival programme with over 70 events on CorkHarbourFestival.com.

Published in Cork Harbour

#Unveiled - Unveiled Horizons/Horizons dévoilés is an artistic transmedia interactive experience that is part of the Cork Harbour Festival (3-11 June), the Cork Midsummer Festival and in partnership with the French Embassy in Ireland.

The outdoor installation which is free is sited on the city’s Custom House Quay. This Friday, 9 June, at this quay is expected a visit of the square-rigger Pelican of London.

The artistic concept develops the relation between art, digital media and social issue through an application, a participatory website and an outdoor installation questioning women’s horizons in port city around the world.

This provocative and beautiful work by French photographer Carl Cordonnier and Jools Gilson from UCC Creative, focuses on the hidden presence of women in port towns and cities.

Through interviews and photography workshops, Unveiled Horizons collaborates with women from Cork on the composition of their portraits. 

To follow them in Cork where Carl and Jools met a group of inspiring women. Their Facebook page link is located on the French Embassy in Ireland website here.

Published in Port of Cork

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