Will Wexford Feature in Ireland’s First National Tourism Awards?


Local tourism businesses encouraged to compete for an ‘ITA’

Businesses from across Wexford are being encouraged to participate in the Irish Tourism Industry Awards 2015 – the first ever national scheme to identify and celebrate those leading lights that are making a difference in the tourism industry and actively contributing to recent growth in the sector.

The Irish Tourism Industry Awards – dubbed the ‘ITAs’ – seek to identify those players in the tourism sector who have made a difference and are setting an example for the rest of the industry.

Encouraging businesses in Wexford to get involved, Eamonn McKeon CEO of the Irish Tourist Industry Confederation said:

 

“With these new awards, we now have a high-profile platform to sing the praises of local tourism high achievers.  We are looking to identify those who set the standard for others in the industry to aim for, with their achievements serving as ‘lessons’ in how to get things right. I am more than confident that Wexford is well placed to provide such examples.”

Tourism businesses throughout the country and overseas are being invited to apply and submit their examples under 11 different categories (see editor’s note for more detail) by Monday 16th February. The Irish Tourism Industry Award winners will ultimately be announced at an Awards Event on 24th April 2015.

 Mr McKeon continued -

 “I look forward to many great applications from Wexford, to compete with their tourism peers and raise the profile of the great work going on in the county.”

  

Full details of the awards and application process are available at www.irishtourismindustryawards.ie

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A Wonderful Walk in Wexford


The vast majority of Wexford’s coastline is made up of sandy beaches and coves, particularly north of Wexford town starting off with Curracloe, the jewel of Wexford beaches, and stretching to Kilgorman and Courtown at the very north tip of the county (Courtown on YouTube).  To the south of Wexford town, Carne is fantastic for wildlife (particularly bird watching), and Kilmore, Rosslare, Dunncannon all prepare you for the dramatic Hook Peninsula.

Inland, the county’s woodland offers unparalleled scenery whilst urban walks allow you to dip into Wexford’s rich heritage.  There are two professional walking tour operators in Wexford – Wexford Walking tours and Southeast Costal Walks.

Carrickbyrne Hill
Carrickbyrne Hill is a historic and scenic 5km long forest trail with multiple viewing points.  The hard volcanic outcrop that resisted the weathering process now stands out on the rather flat landscape. The rocks were formed during a period of volcanic activity about 400 million years ago.  Carrickbyrne Hill was once part of the Jeffares Estate. The oak wood is known locally as ‘Camp Field’.  During the 1798 rebellion the insurgents gathered here before marching towards New Ross.
The trees are mainly coniferous – an international gathering, with representatives from Europe and North America including Douglas fir from Vancouver, Japanese larch from the east and native Scots pine. You will also find oak, beech, ash, rowan, and Spanish chestnut.  On the trail through the forest one might spot a fox, rabbit, hare or hear the blackbird and thrush.  Laurel, bramble and heather form the main ground cover of the wood.

Location: Carrigbyrne Hill, New Ross, Co. Wexford
W: http://www.discoverireland.ie/Arts-Culture-Heritage/carrickbyrne-hill/8527

Coolmelagh Forest Recreational Area
This recently launched walk takes you through pine and beech forests up to the summit of Gibbet hill.  A number of places on this hill you’ll notice some fine stone walls made out of flattish pieces of rock. In the eighteenth century there was a slate quarry on the hill.  In early May expect to see a carpet of bluebells, thriving quietly away beneath the beech trees.

Location: Bunclody
Sat Nav: 52.6860, -6.5796

Edenvale River and Forest Walk
A short but lovely walk alongside the slow river through woods.  It features an impressive waterfall which offers a haven for keen walkers and nature lovers who relish the natural beauty of the great outdoors.  It is close to the village of Castlebridge where the Guinness book of records was founded in May 1951.

Location: Castlebridge, Wexford
Sat Nav: N: 52.38632  W: -6.46667

Enniscorthy Town Heritage Walk
Enniscorthy was founded by St. Senan in 510.  It is a picturesque town situated on the banks of the River Slaney midway between the Blackstairs Mountains and the sea.  The town is overlooked by the old 1798 historic battle site of Vinegar Hill.  The town’s heritage walk takes in the Duffry Gate, St Aidan’s Cathedral, the Market House/Market Square, the Athenaeum, St Mary’s Church, Enniscorthy Castle and County Museum, Enniscorthy Bridge and The Cotton Tree site, the railway station, Templeshannon, Vinegar Hill, Society of Friends, the fountain, Seamus Rafter Memorial, post office from 1903, Methodist and Presbyterian Church, the National 1798 Rebellion Centre, and the Maltings.

There is an excellent promenade walk by the River Slaney with a children’s playground at the entrance of the walk.

Location: Enniscorthy
Sat Nav: 52.501411,-6.567228

Enniscorthy Town Prom Walk along the River Slaney 
This 6km walk round trip starts close to the Riverside Park Hotel in Enniscorthy on the west side of the River Slaney.  Starting on a concrete path for approx 500m it brings you to the point where the Urrin River joins the Slaney.  A Country Walk can be accessed via a Footbridge (it’s approx 4m high and as such not accessible to wheelchairs or prams/buggies). The 2m wide path is more suited to country walkers and hiking enthusiasts. The gravel path was installed to match the rural landscape with several seats installed alongside. Don’t be too surprised to see some livestock in this rural setting, munching on the grass at several times of the year!

Location: Starting in Enniscorthy Town
Sat Nav: 52.496902,-6.56706

Forth Mountain 3 Rocks Trail
There are a number of car parks and lay-bys in the forest, with numerous walks on the forest road network and paths.  Fine views of the surrounding countryside can be had and on a clear day you can see counties Carlow, Kilkenny, Tipperary, Wicklow and Waterford.

The main tree species in the forest are Sitka spruce, Lodge pole pine and Japanese larch, other flora includes heather, heath and furze.  Some of the animals and birds that can be seen in the forest are woodcock, pheasant, raven and fox.

Location: 8 km SW of Wexford Town on the R733
Sat Nav: 52.30759, -6.58765

Kilbrannish Forest Recreation Area
Close to the summit of Mount Leinster, this area has fantastic views of the surrounding countryside.  There are two official trails of 3km and 5km but much longer walks are possible for those with more energy.

Location: 7km west of Bunclody
W: www.bunclody.net/Kilbranish-web/index.htm
Sat Nav: N: 52.64037  W: -6.74390

Raven Point Nature Reserve Walk
This walk is a real favourite with many Wexford people, running parallel to Curracloe beach and passing through a bright mature pine forest with pine needles cushioning your steps.  The main forest track is fine for strollers and kids will love running and jumping off the dunes and hiding in the fern covered forest.  Continue around the loop or come back by the beach, this is a great walk any time of year with plenty of shelter during the winter.

Further north is Curracloe Beach, which doubled as Omaha beach in the film ‘Saving Private Ryan’.

Location: Raven Point, Curracloe
Sat Nav: 52.38051,  -6.36781

Remember 1798 Walk
This 6 mile walk, starting at the Trading Post Shop and camping site, along the lanes and backroads of rural Wexford follows the route taken by the North Cork Militia to Oulart Hill in 1798.  Walkers and cyclists have the opportunity to view the twelve hectare woodland park designed by Coillte and The Oulart Hill Co-op, visit Fr Murphy’s Well, pass the home of Edward Fitzgerald and take in the magnificent views of County Wexford.  The walk finishes on Oulart Hill at the Tulach a’ tSolais Monument which represents the divide between the old and new world. A local historian is available for guided walks by contacting the camp site in advance.

Sat Nav: 52.45057,-6.39584

Location: Ballaghkeen, Enniscorthy

South East Coastal Walks
Offering panoramic coastal walks in the South East from the Hook, Kilmore Quay, Carnsore Point, St Helens, Rosslare etc.
Our aim is to offer 1.5/2 hr guided relaxed walks with local info on history and flora and fauna, followed by tasty lunch.
Walks and Lunch €20
Walk only €10.
Transport €10 extra from Wexford Tourist Office
Walks on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Private parties also catered for.

W: www.southeastcoastalwalks.ie
T: Catherine +353 86 1508498
E: info@southeastcoastalwalks.ie

Slieveboy Askamore Loop Walk
Three walking loops of 6km, 9km and 12km, ranging from easy to moderate, along laneways and forest roads – perfect for nature lovers. Trail head is located in the car park opposite the parish church in the village of Askamore. The nearest services (teas, toilets etc) are available in the village of Carnew (10km away).

Location: Opposite parish church, Askamore, Gorey.
Sat Nav: N: 52.38632  W: -6.46667

The Wexford Walking Experience

This wonderful historical and anecdotal walking tour of Wexford Town takes place every Wednesday and in all weathers!

When: Every Wednesday from 1st March to 31st October.
Where: Departs from Wexford Tourist Office on Crescent Quay at 1pm.

Duration: 2 hours

Itinerary includes:

Walking Tour – A stroll through the beautiful historic town of Wexford
Wexford Opera House – Enjoy an intimate behind the scenes tour of the stunning Wexford Opera House
Lunch – Enjoy a complimentary light lunch in the Sky View Café at Wexford Opera House
Selskar Abbey – Experience a superb guided tour of this medieval abbey and discover the wonders of this historic gem.
Booking: Wexford Opera House
T: +353 53 9122400. For groups and can tailor made tour bookings call Monica on 086 1079497
W: www.wexfordoperahouse.ie

Wexford Town Heritage Walk
This wonderful walk around the historic town of Wexford takes in Selskar Abbey, John Wesley Methodist Chapel, St Iberius’ Church, Rowe Street Church, The Friary, Bride Street Church, Society of Friends Meeting House, St Patrick’s Church and Graveyard.

Location: Wexford Town
Sat Nav: 52.34143, -6.46550

Wexford Walking Tours
A historical and anecdotal tour of Wexford Town every day ( except Sunday ) from 1st March to 31st October. Departs from Wexford Tourist Office on Crescent Quay at 11am.
Cost €4 per person.  Duration about 90 mins.
“History happened in all weathers and so do our tours”

We also cater for groups and can tailor make tours according to group’s particular interests or mobility levels. Just ring Joanne at 0863526133,  Monica at 0861079497, or Siobhan at 0879175171.

W: www.wexfordwalkingtours.net
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wexford-Walking-Tours/274880679223730

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Festive Fun on offer in Wexford


A brand new forty-day Christmas festival is underway in Wexford until January 6th and visitors are having a thrill at ‘Wexford Winterland’. The outdoor festival taking place at venues across Wexford town features an Ice-Rink on Wexford’s Quayside and a series of event all set to take place as part of ‘Selskar Under the Stars’.

The ‘Selskar under the Stars’ programme of entertainment commences from December 12th, festivalgoers can enjoy a series of music gigs, orchestral performances and classic Christmas movies at Selskar Square. A glass dome roof will be fitted over the square, to form a unique and special venue in the heart of Wexford town. Enjoy music with Mick Flannery to Corner Boy, The Strypes, the Dublin Gospel Choir and a Wexford Artists Christmas Concert plus more.

Also at the Selskar Square venue is ‘Selskar Family Movies’ set to screen favorites including Frozen, The snowman, Elf, Arthur Christmas and many more. A wonderful new event sees Santa take out his storybook and read some festive tales at ‘Storytime with Santa’. Visitors are invited to come along and help the elves to wake up Santa, then join them in a sing-along! Santa will tell everyone about Christmas at the North Pole, and then read his favourite stories. Sit back and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate as the kids are transported on an astonishing journey of Christmas tales and stories

A wonderful Festive log cabin Market takes over The Bullring in the centre of Wexford town featuring a craft market. The traditionally decorated wooden cabins showcase a diverse range of crafts produced by artists from Wexford’s Craft Trail members.

Join in the wondrous festive fun in New Ross as Nollaig 2014 offers a programme of events for all the family.  Enjoy Christmas parades, Fancy Dress, Random Acts of Kindness, Christmas Bazaars, Christmas craft fairs, Pantomimes, Treasure Hunts, a Santa’s Workshop, Dunbrody Santa’s World Experience, Christmas Cook Offs, Christmas concerts, celebrations, pantomimes, carol singing and lots more.

A Great Victorian Christmas is on offer at Wells House where Santa Claus will be in the great hall and visit the elf workshop, help Mrs Claus with her preparations for Santa then visit the man himself in the Great Hall of Wells House and Gardens December 6 to 23.  Santa will also be nipping over to the Irish National Heritage Park each weekend from December 6th to December 21st and along to the beautiful Johnstown Castle to celebrate Christmas on 13 and 14 and 20 and 21 of December plus he will be in residence at Kia Ora Mini Farm and Wexford Arts Centre.

For further details on Christmas in Wexford see www.visitwexford.ie

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First Wexford Winterland Festival Kicks off with Festive Parade to light up the Streets of Wexford


The biggest Christmas Festival ever seen in Wexford gets underway this weekend as Wexford Winterland will commence across the town. A host of attractions and events will captivate and entertain locals and visitors alike. This Saturday, November 29th at 4pm, the streets of Wexford will be filled with festive light, music and colour when the Winterland Parade winds its way along the Main Street.

Santa Claus will lead the Parade in his Spectacular Sleigh, and he has brought his Post Box with him for all your Santa letters. So bring along your letters and Santa’s helpers will put them in the Post Box for you, and Santa will check them all when he gets back to the North Pole!

And Santa has brought a visitor with him from the North Pole, the beautiful Ice Maiden in her Icy Throne. She is joining Santa in the Parade, along with her icy band of helpers andlong with Old King Coal who is hoping to beat Santa in the race to turn on the Lights, helped by his Polar Explorers, Penguins and Polar Bears… Who will win the race? Make sure to be in the Bullring at 5pm to cheer on Santa, and boo Old King Coal!

The Winterland Parade starts in South Main Street at 4pm, and will travel to The Bull Ring, where the Festive Lights will be turned on at 5pm.

Wexford on Ice will also open, a beautiful real Ice Rink on Wexford’s Quayside will be open for pros and novices alike. A new attraction ‘Selskar Under the Stars’ is set to open on December 12th offering a unique setting to enjoy the best music, movies and family events inlcuding music gigs with Mick Flannery, Corner Boy and The Strypes, and family movie sceenings of include The Snowman, Arthur Christmas, Miracle on 34th Street and Home Alone.

The Wexford Winterland Box Office is open at 1 North Main Street for further details see www.visitwexford.ie

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A beautiful image of Christmas in Wexford by Ger Dwyer

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Christmas in Wexford – First Wexford Winterland to Thrill


A brand new forty day Christmas festival is set to thrill visitors to Wexford as ‘Wexford Winterland’ an outdoor festival taking place at venues across Wexford town features a Christmas Parade, Ice-Rink, Selskar Under the Stars featuring orchestral music performances, classic movie screenings and music gigs with ‘The Strypes’ and ‘Corner Boy’, a Festive log cabin Market will feature at The Bullring in the centre of Wexford town and much more all from November 29th to January 6th.

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In New Ross Nollaig 2014 offers a Christmas parade, Fancy Dress, Random Acts of Kindness, Christmas Bazaars, Christmas craft fairs, Pantomimes, Treasure Hunts, Santa’s Workshops, Dunbrody Santa’s World Experience, Christmas Cook Offs, Christmas concerts, celebrations, pantomimes, carol singing and lots more. Santa arrives on November 22nd to switch on the lights and festivities are ongoing right up to Christmas. A Christmas Craft Fair takes place each weekend on Sunday, November 23rd at Ballykelly, on Saturday November 29th a giant Bazaar promises to ensure that all visitors will get their festive shopping completed at the Scout Hall on Marsh Lane, Santa will be in residence from November 29th on Sunday November 30th a festive market takes place at Ramsgrange, on Saturday and Sunday, December 6th at Duncannon Fort, on Sunday, December 7th at Campile.

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In Gorey the seventh annual Magical Christmas Market will be held on the Main Street on Sunday, December 7. The entire Main Street will be closed to traffic and taken over by crafts stalls, festive food stalls, carol singers and much more, with over 70 stall holders there will be lots to see, taste and enjoy.

Enniscorthy will be lit up in style this festive season as Santa is set for his arrival to Enniscorthy Castle for this December. Enjoy a spectacular Christmas Parade through Enniscorthy on Saturday, December 6th at 5pm with Bui Bolg street theatre group followed by the appearance of Santa himself at 5.30pm to switch on the town’s Christmas lights.

At the Castle Mrs Claus will be reading from some of her favourite Christmas Stories, and helping the waiting children to make some very special Christmas Decorations for the trees in Enniscorthy Castle as they wait in anxious anticipation for Santa.

Also on Saturday December 6th and on Saturday 13th and 20th and Sunday 21st there will be lots of festive events across the town and on stage at Market Square enjoy top local choirs, pantomime and theatre performances, dance groups, talent competition and storytelling.

A Great Victorian Christmas is on offer at Wells House where Santa Claus will be in the great hall and visit the elf workshop, help Mrs Claus with her preparations for Santa then visit the man himself in the Great Hall of Wells House & Gardens December 6 to 23.  Santa will also be nipping over to the Irish National Heritage Park each weekend from December 6th to December 21st and along to the beautiful Johnstown Castle to celebrate Christmas on 13 and 14 and 20 and 21 of December.

For further details on Christmas in Wexford see http://www.visitwexford.ie

Christmas Market in Wexford by Pat Sheridan

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Late Night Shopping for the Festive Season in Wexford


Follow the Wexford Shopping Star!!!

Every Thursday from 30th October until Christmas shops around Wexford town are being encouraged to open late from 6pm to 9pm. This Wexford County Council initiative, supported by Wexford Chamber, aims to increase footfall in the town, encourage more shoppers to the town and to allow the public not only to buy Irish but also support local business owners.

Look out for the ‘Wexford Shopping Star’ on display in participating shops. If there is a star on display there is a special offer or promotion available to you in that store on Thursday nights from 6pm to 9pm. Another reason to avail of Late Night Shopping shop on Thursday nights is Free on street parking and in all County Council public car parks around the town on Thursday nights from 5pm.

To date the following Wexford retail outlets are participating in this initiative and will be open: Afford Your Wedding; Ava Boutique; Boots; Carphone Warehouse; Carrig Donn; Clothing Doctor; Cream Dreams; Dunnes Stores; DV8; Eircom; Fat Face; Frock; Ger Hore Photography; Greenacres; Hynes Jewellers; Joeleen Codd Photography; Little Rascals; McCauleys Chemists (Redmond Square & North Main Street), New Look; Nosh & Coffee; O’Briens Sandwich Bar (Redmond Square & North Main Street); Pamela Scott; Pennys; Sarah’s Accessories; Saria; Sherwoods Chemist; Shu4U; Shoe Style International; Superdrug; The Loft; Vila; Xtra Vision.

Wexford “Shop Local Vouchers” are also available to purchase from Wexford Chamber and can be spent in over 100 participating stores in the town.

SHOP LOCAL and SUPPORT JOBS in County Wexford

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Visit Wexford Newsletter Quarter 3 2014


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World Renowned Ghost Hunter and Para-Scientist ’Steve Parsons’ on a Ghost Hunt in Wexford this Halloween


If there is a gold standard in ghost hunting Steve Parsons is probably it, this Ghost Hunter famous for his appearances on TV shows across the globe including the hugely popular ITV’s ‘Most Haunted’ series has arrived in Ireland and he is set to host a Ghost Hunt at the almost 800 year old Enniscorthy Castle in Wexford this Halloween.

 

Halloween Enniscorthy 4Those looking for a spin chilling evening can join the international para-scientist in Enniscorthy this Halloween for what promises to be exceptional ghost and myth busting experiences in Wexford’s most famous haunted castle. Wexford Paranormal and Steve Parsons will present a series of talks and ‘hands on’ experiences that are sure to be a little more than thought provoking.

An interactive and engaging lecture hosted by Steve Parsons will take place today Thursday 30th October entitled “ “Ghosts Busted – The Study of Ghost Hunting” is on offer. This are the only talks Steve will be giving in Ireland this year, and his engaging and interactive style means that these are a ‘must see’ for those with either serious interest or a passing curiosity.

On Friday 31st of October a ghost hunting experience is on offer as Wexford Paranormal conduct one of their annual public paranormal investigations of Enniscorthy Castle. Steve Parsons will again be onsite, offering ‘guests’ a one-time opportunity to go ghost hunting with one of the world’s leading paranormal experts in the enigmatic surroundings of Wexford’s most famous haunted Castle.

Commenting on his presence in Ireland, Steve Parsons says, “I’m delighted to be here in Ireland, and particularly here in the South East region; which has a lot of history and folklore, it is a very interesting region. Ireland is a special country, it’s like the celtic fringes of the UK and I think because of that there is a very strong link between the people and the past.”

Steve continued to mention that he himself has a strong link to Ireland, “I am a descendant of the Earls of Ross who founded the Hellfire club in Dublin and all of my life I believe people see ghosts and I am fascinated to know why, this is why I do what I do.”

There are lots of spooky options on offer this Halloween in Wexford. Loftus Hall, reputed to be the most haunted house in Ireland are taking terror to an all new level and will host an adults only Halloween experience, for the feint-hearted a Halloween family experience tour is also on offer. Join in an adults only tour “Paranormal Presence at Loftus Hall” tour or how about joining in a Halloween Horror Night – Dying to Dine on 1st November. Guests are treated to dinner in a cordoned off RIP area before you get the life frightened out of you on the Paranormal Presence tour. Guests are asked to dress to scare and petrify.

Following their hugely popular sell-out Halloween tour last year, the Haunted Halloween Tour returns to ‘Wells House’ step back into the 1800s and take a journey into the darkest heart of Halloween at this ancient Georgian mansion.

For programme details of ‘Halloween in Wexford’ see visitwexford.ie

 

Halloween Enniscorthy 6

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Wexford Celebrates brand new Visitor Welcome Ambassadors programme


Wexford Celebrates brand new Visitor Welcome Ambassadors programme as tourists flock to

Wexford Festival Opera

Wexford Fringe festival

Wexford Spiegeltent Festival

Wexford is piloting a brand new concept, which aims to offer visitors to the town and county an extra warm Wexford Welcome on the streets.

The ‘Wexford Welcome Ambassadors’ programme sees 13 volunteers take to the streets of the town during the 63rd Wexford Festival Opera, the 62nd annual Wexford Fringe Festival and the 3rd annual Wexford Spiegeltent Festival which are now all underway and all run until November 2nd.

Wexford Ambassadors 1

Commenting on the programme launch Carolyne Godkin, Tourism Officer at Wexford County Council said, “There are currently over 400 events on offer through the three festivals and though it isn’t the typical tourism season this is one of the busiest times of year in Wexford and we have tens of thousands of visitors in town everyday for 12 days. The Wexford Town Tourism group knows this programme will have long term positive impacts for Wexford town and indeed the County, providing a friendly welcome to the town for our visitors. We hope to attract more volunteers to the programme, rolling it out to other key locations around Wexford if it proves successful.”

The role of the Welcome Ambassadors is to be street-based friendly faces of Wexford aiming to meet and greet visitors and provide local knowledge and useful information and guiding visitors to utilize the tourist information office on Wexford Quay front.  The roles are completely voluntary and were open to public application; each of the volunteers has completed a familiarization programme in order to participate.

Ms. Godkin, said tourism is a prime industry in Wexford: “Visitor numbers are returning to growth and Wexford has the most international visitor numbers in the South East region so the provision of meet and greet services, information and local knowledge is key to this market.”

Over the last year Visit Wexford and Wexford County Council has undertaken significant national and international marketing, including a South East collaboration and rebranding, a sales mission to the U.S., Germany and Asia, a presence at numerous shows and a redevelopment of it’s web presence on visitwexford.ie

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Fireworks and Festivals to Light up Wexford


The 63rd Wexford Festival Opera kicks off tomorrow ( Wednesday, 22 October) with the official opening set to take place once again on quays in Wexford town. Entertainment will commence from 6:30pm and will include the giant annual fireworks display.

Wexford Opera Fireworks

This year Heather Humphreys, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht will officially open the Festival at the quayside celebrations and then go on to attend the opening opera at Wexford Opera House, which will be Salomé by Antoine Mariotte (1875-1944), a rarely-performed operatic version of Oscar Wilde’s play.

The opening night is always a popular event so be sure to come along and find your viewing spot to enjoy all of the nights entertainment on Wexford’s Quayside. Traffic restrictions will be in place from 5pm to 9pm.

The 2014 Wexford Festival Opera includes 3 main stage operas – Salomé by Antoine Mariotte (1875-1944), a rarely-performed operatic version of Oscar Wilde’s perceptive play which will be the Festival’s opening night performance, the delightfully good-humoured comic opera Don Bucefalo by Antonio Cagnoni (1828-1896) distinguished by its melodic inventiveness, and the European premiere of the Pulitzer prize winning opera, Silent Night by Kevin Puts (b. 1972). Commissioned by Minnesota Opera, composer Kevin Puts and librettist Mark Campbell will attend the premiere on 24 October. Together they will deliver the annual Dr Tom Walsh Lecture on 23 October, the morning after its European Premiere.

The ShortWorks return to Whites of Wexford Hotel this year with three intimate productions including a double-bill of The Wandering Scholar by Gustav Holst and Trial by Jury by Gilbert and Sullivan, Il Tabarro by Giacomo Puccini and La Cenerentola (Cinderella) by Gioacchino Rossini. Approximately an hour long, these allow audiences to enjoy a rare work or a condensed version of a more familiar opera.

The Gala Concert each year features a number of artists taking part in the Festival performing some of their favourite pieces. This year the MC for the evening will be Australian soprano Helena Dix, who sang the title role in last year’s award-winning production of Cristina, regina de Svezia.

The popular Lunchtime Recitals will be presented in St Iberius Church in the centre of Wexford. Running for approximately fifty minutes, these recitals afford a unique opportunity to hear the principal artists of the Festival display their versatility in an intimate setting. The artists and their performance dates will be announced prior to the Festival. Keep updated at http://www.wexfordopera.com

Una Hunt returns to Wexford on the 1st of November with Irish Fantasy: a family affair, a new programme in the ‘Irish Heritage at Wexford’ series. Celebration of the music of Ireland through song and violin and piano music will be performed by sisters Una Hunt and Fionnuala Hunt on piano and violin respectively with Una’s daughter Rachel Kelly. Rachel is a member of the young artist programme at the Royal Opera House and recently stepped into the role of Mercédès in Carmen. The programme includes music by Harty, Stanford, Esposito, Hughes, Moore, Wallace, Balfe and T.C. Kelly – Rachel’s grandfather and a native of Wexford.

A recent addition to this year’s Festival programme on Bank Holiday Monday, Dan Newell, accompanied by members of the Orchestra of Wexford Festival Opera, will perform Composers on Film – The Sequel – music from popular film scores. Dan Newell is a member of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and London Brass and has played on the soundtracks of many films including Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings and Shrek, as well as performing with artists including Sir Paul McCartney, Florence and the Machine, Muse, Elbow, and Peter Gabriel. This once off concert will include music from films including JFK and Skyfall. Taking place on the bank-holiday Monday, 27 October at 11am in the O’Reilly Theatre it is suitable for all ages, tickets €15 (adults) €5 (children).

The 62nd Wexford Fringe Festival also gets underway offering a diverse and eclectic mix of events which include theatre, visual arts, photography, music, literature and children’s entertainment – over 300 different events will be on offer!

Many events are free and there is something for everyone in the family. It brings together artists of all disciplines and will run from Friday 17th October through to Sunday 2nd November, be sure to get out and catch a gig.

And last but by no means least the wonderful Wexford Speigeltent Festival runs for 12 days and nights and the eclectic programme of events features contemporary music, comedy, theatre, film, classical music and lots more. With lots of big name acts be sure to book your night out in Wexford.

For details on all three festivals see http://www.visitwexford.ie

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