Go wild in Waterford's Comeragh Mountains this summer

Justin Kelly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly

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news@waterfordlive.ie

The rugged, unspoilt Comeragh Mountains and the adjacent coastal hinterland around the stunning Waterford Greenway will be a hive of outdoor activity and fun from July 11 to 14 as the Comeraghs Wild Festival gets underway for yet another year.

This year’s action-packed, four-day programme includes an open-air concert deep in the Comeragh Mountains and at the foot of Mahon Falls, featuring internationally-renowned singer and songwriter, Don Mescall, and the award-winning Mount Sion Choir.

There’s also an open-air showbands special featuring Gina & the Champions with special guest, RTE’s Ronan Collins, in Kilmacthomas, where the band performed live for the first time 40 years ago this year.

Thrill-seekers will revel in surfing sessions; a white-knuckle bike descent in the Nire Valley and more while for culture vultures, there’s creative writing; a Famine walk; afternoon tea at Curraghmore House and at Woodhouse Estate; Dancing at the Crossroads and storytelling with one of Ireland’s most popular storytellers, Eddie Lenihan.

Younger revellers, in particular, will enjoy sea gardening with Marie Power, AKA The Sea Gardener; the Away with the Fairies fairy garden building sessions deep in Crough Wood; Arty Crafty at Kilmacthomas Library and Sand Art on Kilmurrin Cove with renowned sand artist, Sean Corcoran. Early Bird ticket sales have now opened, with further details on all events on www.comeraghswild.com

Among the new additions to this year’s programme is a cookery demonstration with Decky Walsh of the award-winning Holy Smoke restaurant at Nell’s Farm House in the shadows of the Comeragh Mountains. He will serve up a six-course feast of local Comeragh delights. On the menu is fire-roasted butternut squash soup, hot-smoked brown trout, slow roast leg of Comeragh lamb, locally-sourced free range chicken, beef tomahawk from a local farm and a fabulous dessert.

Festival chair, Mary Flynn, said: “We’re thrilled to have so many new events and venues this year. Comeraghs Wild 2019 has something for all ages, all interests. Whether you’re into dancing at the crossroads, surfing, mountain biking, foraging, history, craft or food, we really have it all."

"This is a festival that showcases this region at its very best and celebrates our rich history, our deep traditions and this vast, unspoilt hinterland. We encourage everyone to take part,” she added.

The authentic, community-focused festival has grown in popularity year on year and was moved from its traditional autumn slot to summer time to make it more appealing to families, Waterford City and County Council’s Bernadette Drohan said.

“We’re delighted to work with the voluntary local committee to support what is one of the biggest community festivals in the south-east."

"It has grown and grown year on year and this year’s programme is one of the best yet. We’re delighted to welcome Gina and the Champions back to where it all began for one of Ireland’s biggest showbands. We’re thrilled to have Ronan Collins on board. The concert featuring Don Mescall and the Mount Sion Choir will be just amazing. And these are just some of the highlights. It’s all shaping up to be an epic few days in Waterford and we really encourage the public to come along and see what makes this region so special,” she concluded.