The 2011 Wexford Strawberry Festival kicks off today (Wednesday, June 22) with over 10,000 visitors expected to descend on the Strawberry Capital of Ireland, Enniscorthy town in County Wexford.
The 2011 festival line-up is the biggest ever programme planned for the Wexford Strawberry Festival with free open air music concerts with The Corona’s, The Saw Doctors, Cry Before Dawn, Ryan Sheridan and Smashhits. Only Ali Campbell on Saturday, June 25 and firm favourites Jedward on Sunday afternoon June 26 require ticketed admission.
The annual Strawberry Gala ball will get the festival into full swing on Wednesday evening. Wednesday also sees the announcement of the Strawberry Grower of the Year. On Thursday, June 23 festival goers can enjoy Cookery Demonstrations, Greyhound Racing, the Strawberry Festival Comedy Club.
On Friday June 24 punters can enjoy Trad sessions and meet the 2011 Strawberry Princesses. On Saturday a host of free family fun events and children’s entertainment will take place throughout Enniscorthy including firm favourite DJ Liam Sharkey in the Market Square, not to mention, Storytelling in Enniscorthy Library, a Treasure Hunt from Enniscorthy Castle, McFadden’s Fun Fair, a Teddy Bears Picnic on Pigmarket Hill and Toddler story time and much more. There are talks, walks, dance demos, photographic exhibitions, buskers and more planned throughout the weekend. Saturday June 25 is also ‘Wexford Day’ which sees a host of attractions throughout the county of Wexford open for free entry.
Sunday, June 26 sees the fourth All-Ireland Farmers Market Competition take place in Enniscorthy town which will see one producer walk away with a prize pot of €5,000. The Strawberry Half Marathon and other race events will take place on Sunday June 26 along with a host of Fringe events including a Buskers Corner, a Music Picnic and more. Tickets for Jedward, For further information on the festival and ‘Wexford Day’ is available on www.visitwexford.ie
And WoWser …. Hook Lighthouse has been announced number one in the World by the prestigious and much followed Lonely Planet Guide 2011. Beating its rivals in far flung locations such as Australia, the U.S. and India to the number one position in the list of the world’s ‘Flashiest Lighthouses’ the staff at the County Wexford tourist attraction are thrilled.
Describing The Hook Lighthouse the guide says, “The great granddaddy of lighthouses, Hook Head is arguably the oldest working light in the world. The site had humble beginnings, reportedly as far back as the 5th century, with monks lighting a beacon there. The structure as it stands today has existed for 800 years. It’s an automated light, squat and a little…plump (they say horizontal stripes emphasize a thick waist, so it might just be an illusion). Access to the light is by tour, organised through the visitor centre. A historical teaser – have you ever wondered where the phrase ‘by Hook or by Crook’ comes from?”
Purpose built as a lighthouse, Hook Head lighthouse has served sailors and shipping for 800 years, apart from a short closure during the 17th century. It is thought to be one of the oldest operational lighthouses in the world. When the Tower of Hook became fully automated in 1996 and no longer needed resident keepers, it was decided to celebrate its uniqueness by opening it to the public.