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Galway Festivals & Events

Galway International Rally
5th - 7th February 2016
Galway International Rally, sponsored by Colm Quinn BMW has a notable place in Ireland's road racing history, as it was the 1st round of the Irish Tarmac Championship which was first held in 1978. Today, the rally serves as the season opener for the championship. It is a true International event with competitors traveling from all over the world for a chance to compete on the Galway roads.
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Ted Fest
25th - 28th February 2016
The Fr. Ted Festival which is popularly known as Ted Fest, is a celebration of the life of comedian Dermot Morgan and his 1990's cult TV sitcom Father Ted created by Graham Linehan and Arthur Matthews. The event sees large numbers of fans take to the islands, most dressed as characters from the show. The event involves taking part in many themed events associated with the comedy series including fancy dress, five-aside football (nuns against priests), toilet duck comedy awards, buckaroo speed dating, lovely girls contest and A Song For Europe. A weekend of great craic!
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Seactain na Gaeilge Festival
1st - 17th March 2016
The annual Seachtain na Gaeilge festival takes place from 1 - 17 March. The fortnight-long festival is a celebration of the Irish language, culture and heritage. It encapsulates the pride of the Irish language community and inspires further generations to immerse themselves in our native tongue. Seachtain na Gaeilge is an opportunity to experience, practice, learn and enjoy the Irish Language.The festival has built up a huge momentum in recent years, becoming the largest celebration of the Irish language and culture held every year. Seachtain na Gaeilge has something for everyone; young and old, native and non-native, fluent and novice.
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Head of the River Rowing Regatta
19th March 2016
This year the Head of the River will be organised by NUIG Boat Club and Tribesmen, and it takes place from the mouth of the lake to a little downstream from the Quincentennial Bridge. The boats race for fours and double sculls starts at 10.30am, the race for single sculls and pairs starts at 1.30pm, and the race for eights and quad sculls starts at 4pm. Hundreds of competitors will be involved, and the best viewing points are Dangan slip or on or near the Quincentennial Bridge.
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St. Patrick's Day Festival
17th March 2016
St Patrick's Festival parade in Galway is a platform to showcase local artists and community groups. The parade starts at 11.30am and runs through Galway city centre for over 1 hour. The event aims to celebrate Galway’s diverse culture and talent through an inclusive programme of events.
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Galway Food Festival
24th - 28th March 2016
Celebrating Galway as a great food destination, 2016 will be the 5th year of the Galway Food Festival and is sure to build on the success of the 2015 event. Five days of amazing open-air food markets, workshops, demonstrations, tastings and family fun. The festival is aimed at promoting good food and good food outlets in Galway, as well as showcasing food producers based in Galway and in the West.
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Galway Dance Days Festival
March 2016
Dancers, activists and academics from around the world will attend the fifth Galway Dance Days Festival at the Black Box and other city venues.
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Connemara International Marathon
10th April 2016
2016 is the 15th Connemara Marathon and a celebration night will be held in both Galway and Clifden. Comprising of a Half Marathon, a Full Marathon and a 39.3 mile Ultra Marathon all taking place in April. Book early to avoid disappointment.
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Western Lakes and Atlantic Challenge (WLAC)
24th April 2016
The Western Lakes and Atlantic Challenge (WLAC) is a fun and challenging sportive cycling event with a short fun cycle for the family and a long distance cycle for the endurance athlete. The distance cycles have 144km and 100km options. Be ready, event starts in Salthill Knocknacarra GAA club.
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Bealtaine Festival
1st - 31st May 2016
Brought to you by Age & Opportunity the Bealtaine Festival 2016 will see hundreds of events for, by and featuring older people all across Ireland, offering theatre, visual arts, music and more. Bealtaine showcases the talents and creativity of both first-time and professional older artists. This year’s theme is ‘And catch the heart off guard’ from Seamus Heaney’s poem ‘Postscript’.
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Galway Theatre Festival
29th April - 7th May 2016
The Galway Theatre Festival features nine days of exciting theatre, circus, spectacle, and story-telling, showcasing the vibrant performance culture of Ireland’s festival city. The goal of Galway Theatre Festival is to bring a fresh and lively programme of performance to the streets and venues of Galway, evoking a raw energy and adventurous spirit in our audiences
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Cliffs of Moher Seabirds Festival
May 2016
During the month of May one of Ireland’s most astounding natural wonders is the host of seabirds found nesting at the Cliffs of Moher. Over 60,000 seabirds can be seen at the Cliffs of Moher during the breeding season including Puffins, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars nesting at different levels of the cliffs. The Cliffs are a Special Protected Area for seabirds and are also home to other bird species such as Peregrine Falcons, Choughs and Ravens. The Cliffs of Moher Seabirds festival is a family friendly series of activities and events celebrating the presence of our feathered friends.
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Galway Early Music Festival
12th - 15th May 2016
The Galway Early Music Festival celebrates old world music and arts and features concerts, workshops, street performances of music, dance and historical re-enactment.
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Burren Slow Food Festival
28th - 29th May 2016
The annual Burren Slow Food Festival gives visitors the opportunity to sample local artisan foods, meet the producers and growers, mix with fellow foodies, see cookery demonstrations from well known chefs and get a true taste of Co. Clare culture in the beautiful setting of the Burren. The three day event showcases the best elements of food culture in Clare from the local growers, producers and traders that make Clare such a unique and dynamic food destination.
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Clare Burren Marathon Challenge
28th May 2016
With a mini, half and full marathon this event with a starting point in Ballyvaughan, it is a great option for walkers, runners and have a go heroes!
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Galway Bike Week
June 2016
Bike Week 2016 takes place in June with cycling events all over Galway county, organised the local authority, community groups, charities and cycling groups.
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The Galway Sessions
13th - 19th June 2016
Galway The Galway Sessions Festival returns celebrating Irish folk and traditional music and the music Irish emigrants brought with them across the world. As in previous years, the festival’s Scottish connection will be retained with an array of performers travelling from Galway’s cultural partner Stirling to take part. Events take place in the Town Hall Theastre and in pubs throughout the city with sessions planned in The Crane Bar, The King's Head, Tigh Choili’s, Taaffe’s Bar ,The Quays, Tigh Neachtains, and Monroe’s Tavern.
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Dip in the Nip 2016
June 2016
Dip in the Nip is a fund raising initiative to support cancer charities in Ireland. Hundreds of people gather on a beach, shed their clothes and leggit into the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s the world’s first skinny dip for charity and a little bit of fun for a great cause!
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Galway Simon 10km or 10mile
June 2016
Galway Simon 10km or 10mile takes place in Salthill Galway. This is the annual running for charity event for Galway Simon with Early Bird registration Fee until April 30th. The AAI Certified 10km or 10mile course will follow a glorious route along Galway Bay and is suitable for runners and walkers of all abilities. Registration for the event is now open on and on so why not sign up and set yourself a target of completing a 10km or 10mile or beating your personal best. Timing chips and T-Shirts provided for all participants.
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Galway Film Fleadh
5th - 10th July 2016
Film festival for feature films and shorts. 2016 marks the 28th Galway Film Fleadh, and the central goal of the festival remains unchanged: to bring together audiences and filmmakers within an intimate environment and share a common experience.
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Galway Fringe Festival
11th - 24th July 2016
Running alongside with the Galway International Arts Festival, the Galway Fringe Festival aims to provide a platform for local artists, writers, playwrights, poets, actors and musicians to perform and showcase new work.
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Galway International Arts Festival
11th - 24th July 2016
One of Europe's most inventive, vibrant & colorful events. A truly international celebration of the performing and visual arts, music and theatre which takes place in and around Galway City each July. With over 200,000 atendences at the 365 performances,talks and exhibitions in 2015 the Galway Arts Festival is not to be missed.
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Galway Races 2016
25th - 31st July 2016
Ireland's premier horse racing festival. Experience the adrenalin-pumping action, heart-stopping finishes and breath-taking fashion at the famous Galway Races. Situated on the outskirts of Galway city, in the West of Ireland, the Galway Race Festivals are world renowned.
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