This year 60 years ago the Irish Tourist Board (now Fáilte Ireland) launched An Tóstal Festival.
The original purpose of the festival was a celebration of Irish culture, with an emphasis upon drawing tourists into the country during the Easter off-season. It was marked by a series of regional parades, arts and sporting events. Many towns began a clean-up plan, thus starting off the National Tidy Town Awards, which is still running in Ireland.
Drumshanbo has the distinction of being the only place where An Tóstal has continued to run every year since 1953. Its 60th anniversary is this year and to celebrate, the festivities will run over two weekends!
The 2FM Road Caster will be in town on Saturday May 26 from 2 - 5pm with Ruth and Paddy Weekenders show getting the Saturday celebrations underway. The street music will continue for the rest of the weekend with Whitewater providing the music into Saturday night. Sunday 27th is a day of fun for all the family with games and craic. We are delighted to be welcoming in the region of 150 beautiful vintage cars as they pass through on the Breffni run shortly after 3pm. Family fun and games in the car park followed by entertainment from the fabulous Emerald Revellers and their world renowned dance show. Later on the air in Drumshanbo will be filled with music during the evening, firstly with a host of local artists including our Eurovision winner Charlie Mc Gettigan leading up to our free open air concert at 7pm with Eleanor Shanley and Folk the Recession.
The following weekend activities in Drumshanbo will start at 10am on Saturday, June 2 with The popular Lough Allen Water Festival where beginners young and old can try their hand at water sports like sailing and windsurfing for free. Another free event will be the Children’s fun day in Moorlands from 3pm. The adult fun in Moorlands will begin at 11.30pm with Jimmy Buckley in the Barn Dance.
On Sunday, June 3 the popular Lough Allen Course Angling Competition begins at 1030am. The celebrations will head back into Drumshanbo town at 5pm when you will catch Nemo le Magician before the parade gets underway. Late Nite Radio will perform into the night with a fantastic surprise finale. The majority of events are free so definitely check out www.antostalfestival.ie for our full programme of events.