Much like Nostradamus, most of Met Eireann's predictions can be proven correct if you look hard enough. But at some point we've all been soaked while out and about for a supposed scorcher, so we've decided not to let the prediction of a typically Irish August put a dampener on our plans. Instead, we've put together an ultimate guide of things to do this month. That being said, don't blame us if you get washed away at Electric Picnic.
First up, we'll start with Munster, because that's seemingly where everything is happening this month. No, seriously, just by leaving your house this month, Munster readers are bound to stumble into the middle of an arts festival. Ireland's oldest fair takes place in Kilorglin between 10th-12th, in the shape of the Puck Fair, which must be doing something right to have lasted over 400 years. Next up we move to Clare for the well-known Harvest Summer Fruits Festival in Sixmilebridge, running between 10th-16th. With a vintage rally, archery, carriage driving and sheep racing (no you didn't misread that) there's something for everyone. Terryglass is running its Arts Festival between 13th-17th, with theatre, music, and dance performances, as well as puppet shows, so this is one the kids will love. You can sail away to Cork for their Heir Ireland Regatta on the 14th, or, if you haven't already heard, The Rose of Tralee is running for the 15th-19th.
Those unlucky enough to have missed out on Electric Picnic tickets can instead fill their ears at The Masters of Tradition Festival, in Bantry between the 20th-24th. If the thought of music is too much to bare, why not head to Waterloo for the Charlie Chaplin Comedy Film Festival for the 21st-24th to laugh the tears away, or grab a drink with a few mates at the Doolin Craft Beer Festival during August 22-24th in Co. Clare. The Sean Kelly Tour runs for the 23rd-24th in Waterford, with routes between 12km and 160km available, meaning even those as unfit as us can take part. If at this point you've just had too much culture, and the sight of a puppeteer fills you with an unrelenting rage, maybe it's time for a change of pace, so head down to the races for the Killarney August Festival for the 20th-23rd for horsies, and fellas, bring the missus, because there's a shopping spree to be won on Ladies' Day. If the mention of a better half doesn't apply to you, we're sorry, but don't despair, instead try you luck at the Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival on the 29th, but be warned, it runs sporadically thought September until the 5th October, so maybe don't expect love at first sight.
See what we meant by Munster being a tad bit busy this month? Well if you fancy heading West there's no shortage of events either. The Tubbercurry Old Fair Day Festival is on in Sligo. Running between the 9th-13th, there's pig racing, arts and crafts, a pet farm and kids movies. If Mayo is too far to be traveling on those winding Western roads, you can always stop off in Leitrim for the Ballinamore Family Festival during the 10th-17th, but if you're looking for something a bit more adventurous, try make it to Gaelforce West in Westport on the 16th. Trail running, clycling and kayaking through a 67km course, this is still one of Ireland's toughest adventure races. If that's all to much for you, and you'd rather have a sit-down and soak in some tunes, there's music for every ear. The Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann is on in Sligo during the 10th-17th, while those looking for something a bit more modern can head over to Tuam on the 23rd for the Sugarbeat Festival and have a listen to acts like Damien Dempsey, Mundy, Keywest, and The Raglans. If there's just too much going on, and you simply can't make up your mind, the Belmullet Festival in Mayo during the 10th-18th covers almost everything. With Racing, busking, pedestrian and motorised treasure hunts, as well as kid's fantasy football and a heritage day, there's bound to be something there for you.
It seems that those based in Leinster will be traveling if they want something to do this month, although there are some happenings going on closer to home. The exceptional Kilkenny Arts Festival runs for the 8th-17th. The Marble City's annual festival will this year host performances of Beowolf and Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing (performed by the Globe Theatre, no biggy). There will also be some street theatre, lectures, dances, music sessions and poetry recitals, so yeah, Arts Festival is a pretty fair name. Of course if you're not a patron of the arts, and prefer to get your hands dirty instead, there always the Hollywood Fair in Wicklow during the 13th-17th, where you can have a go at tug-of-war, or try your hand at sheep sheering, but you won't want to miss the storytelling and scarecrow building.
The Taste of Donegal Food Festival is running between the 22nd-24th for those interested in a three-day celebration of food and drink, especially if you fancy celebrity chef demonstrations and master classes, or guided wine and beer tasting tours.
But if you feel left out because you can't travel travel, don't worry, because it's National Heritage Week between the 23rd-31st, and with 1,700 events taking place throughout the country, you're bound to be within a stone's throw of a trad session, play, race or something to whet your cultural beak.
For more information on all of these events and more, be sure to check out DiscoverIreland.ie.