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 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.
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.