Ireland’s weird and wonderful summer festivals

With the summer upon us, so too is the festival season. Here we look at a few that showcase our nation’s fun side along with a quick guide on how to start a festival in your town or village.
The Durrow Scarecrow Festival, Durrow, Co Laois
This quirky festival is back for its ninth year from July 29- August 6. Voted Ireland’s best festival two years running, with an annual attendance of 27,000 people, it is definitely one of the summer’s most humorous festivals. Previous prize winning scarecrows included Miley Silage, complete with ball and chain, straw versions of One Direction and even president Michael D. With the much-coveted title of ‘All-Ireland Scarecrow Champion’ up for grabs, this is one everyone can get their teeth into.
Cowboys and Heroes Festival, Ballinamore, Co Leitrim
You would be forgiven for thinking you had just walked into a bar in Nashville or Memphis, Tennessee, with this bill of American and Irish country and western music, with names like Robert Mizzell, Patrick Feeney, Derek Ryan, and Mike Denver performing over the bank holiday weekend in June. So, dust off your Stetson and polish your dancing shoes for a weekend of ‘country’.
Minevention is the unofficial convention for Minecrafters with events taking place over the course of the year. There are build battles, tournaments, challenges, costume competitions and workshops, as well as the chance to meet world famous Minecrafters in the flesh. So, embrace your inner geek and dive in.
Match-making Festival, Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare
Put on your cowboy boots and your best smile and head to this festival, which not only promises performances from the top names in traditional country music but speed-dating, dancing and daily match-making by the legendary cupid Willie Daly. Since he started out as a matchmaker 45 years ago, following in the footsteps of his father and

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