Carlow County

Carlow County, with its rich tapestry of cultural and historical heritage, is home to a dynamic calendar of events that attract visitors from all over the globe. Here’s a glimpse into some of the most popular events and activities that make Carlow a lively and exciting place to explore throughout the year.

  • Carlow Arts Festival: As one of the earliest summer festivals in Ireland, the Carlow Arts Festival marks the start of the season with a bang. Spanning ten days in June, it showcases an eclectic mix of international and local arts, from visual arts and music to innovative performances. The festival transforms Carlow Town into a vibrant hub of creativity and entertainment, making it a must-visit for art lovers.
  • The Borris House Festival of Writing & Ideas: Held in the stunning grounds of Borris House, this literary festival brings together writers, filmmakers, activists, and artists for a weekend of stimulating discussions and debates. With its intimate atmosphere and picturesque setting, the festival offers a unique opportunity to engage with some of the brightest minds in the literary and cultural world.
  • Carlow Garden Festival: Celebrating Carlow’s renowned gardening heritage, the Carlow Garden Festival is a gardener’s delight. Over ten days in late July and early August, the festival features talks and workshops by some of the world’s leading garden designers and plantspeople. The event is spread across various venues, including the magnificent Altamont Gardens, offering inspiration and insight for gardening enthusiasts.
  • Carlow Fringe Arts Festival: Running alongside the Carlow Arts Festival, the Fringe Arts Festival is a celebration of the avant-garde and the unusual. It provides a platform for emerging artists and performers, showcasing everything from street art and experimental music to alternative theatre. It’s a vibrant testament to the creative spirit that thrives in Carlow.
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade: No list of events in Carlow would be complete without mentioning the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Every March 17th, towns and villages across Carlow come alive with parades, music, and dancing. It’s a day of national pride and celebration, where locals and visitors alike come together to enjoy the festivities.
  • Carlow Regatta: One of the oldest sporting events in Ireland, the Carlow Regatta takes place every June on the River Barrow. This rowing competition attracts clubs from across the country, offering a weekend of competitive racing and family-friendly activities along the riverbank.

These events, each with their unique charm, paint a vivid picture of Carlow County’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re drawn to the arts, literature, gardening, or traditional celebrations, Carlow offers a calendar brimming with opportunities to immerse yourself in the local culture and community spirit.