Cooking demonstrations, workshops, tours and talks, music, theatre, fashion and children’s activities are just some of the attractions on offer at this year’s Ballymaloe May Fair, which takes place from May 12th to 14th.
Among the first of the Summer festivals, it aims to provide an interesting, diverse and fun- filled experience for family and friends on the beautiful grounds of Ballymaloe.
The weekend will be jam packed with activity from classes in yoga and sound baths to the exciting Afro-Brazilian dance form, Capoeira. There will be fashion upcycling workshops as well as workshops making candles, brass wreaths and sustainable cleaning products. The festival will also see a lineup of talks and walks on sustainability, local history and long forgotten expertise about the Irish landscape and wildlife. Among the attractions is a Forgotten Skills Area with live demonstrations on wood carving, iron forging, jewellery-making and more.
The best of Irish cuisine will be there too, as reputable Irish chefs from around the country will perform live cookery demonstrations all weekend, hosted by award winning entrepreneur and Food Business Coach Tracie Daly. Among the well known faces on stage will be Ballymaloe’s Rachel and Darina Allen, Ruairi Dooley from Bia Sol and Mark Jennings from Pilgrims.
The May Fair will also be home to top class music and theatre. Fans of performing arts are in for a treat with a number of productions set in the beautiful Walled Garden of Ballymaloe: Friday night will see a production of Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ while Irish theatrical outfit and podcast Candlelit Tales are set to bring audiences an unforgettable unique retelling of Irish mythology accompanied by live music.
Bree Allen is Festivals Manager of Ballymaloe Grainstore and says this year’s May Fair is the most diverse yet. “We’ve curated a programme that we think will showcase the very best of Irish food, craft, music, theatre and art. It’s always a joy to host May Fair at Ballymaloe where the stunning landscape and sustainable ethos lend themselves perfectly to the tone of the event. It’s very much a family affair and we’ll have an interactive area for children with Cool Food School doing live demonstrations and Kathy from Lego Brixx doing workshops. We really want people to come along, soak up the festival vibe, and most of all, have fun.”
General Manager of Ballymaloe House Laura Behan says May Fair is a huge part of the calendar at Ballymaloe: “It’s fantastic to see food producers, makers and artists from all over Ireland come together for May Fair. At Ballymaloe, quality produce, sustainability, and providing the best of entertainment and hospitality are what we value highly and these values are reflected in all that’s on offer at May Fair. We’d really encourage attendees to take part in the tours we’re hosting over the weekend to showcase Ballymaloe’s Gardens, its great history and our ethos of sustainability.”