Cork Harbour Festival 2021 is back - Whats On In West Cork

Cork Harbour Festival 2021 is back

WO Media Team 08:58 25 May 2021


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Cork Harbour Festival is back and will be among the first festivals in the county to offer in-person events.

This year's events will be a mix of online and physical events as public health restrictions remain in place. There are over 40 activities taking place on water, on land and on screen between from June 4 to June 14. The festival was launched today with a stunning video of Blackrock Castle Observatory and the surrounding areas. Festival Manager, Joya Kuin has said the team are incredibly excited to be back and to be able to offer activities for people to participate in.

"We can guarantee that the diverse range of events and activities will bring great enjoyment and pure fun for those who join us and take part throughout the festival," said Ms Kuin.

Cork Harbour Festival, now in its seventh year, continues to unite heritage, water sports, outdoor activities, culture, nature, conversation and conservation through its common theme: celebrating Cork’s connection with the water, its river and harbour.

Everyone is encouraged to get outside and re-discover all the hugely enjoyable activities there are in and around the harbour, from kayaking trips to sailing lessons and heritage trails to creative experiences. Then, from your own homes, learn about the fascinating history of the harbour through live virtual talks and hear about inspiring people and their love of the sea.

Lose yourself in a guided kayaking experience with Atlantic Sea Kayaking on a sunset river tour of Cork City. Young and old alike will be thrilled by a coastal wildlife tour with Cork Sea Safari at Cobh or Crosshaven. Families can try powerboating, sailing or kayaking from spectacular hidden gems such as East Ferry. You can also, quite literally, dive into Cork Harbour at the Try a Dive event!

The festival offers a myriad of opportunities for those who want to explore the beautiful harbour woodlands and wetlands with family orienteering, birdwatching and cycling.

Cork Harbour Festival also acknowledges the creative life of the harbour with poetry and song, visual art and sound art. Visit Sample-Studio’s Oileán exhibition, which explores what it means to an island nation in these uncertain times. Pick up an origami pack from Crawford Art Gallery and build your own boat!

On your screens, join Meitheal Mara for a conversation with two inspirational women with an appetite for pushing physical extremes; swimmer Nuala Moore, and kayaker, cyclist and oarswoman Karen Weekes talk to reporter Lorna Siggins to discuss motivations, ambitions, and fears. All three women have circumnavigated Ireland at different times – Nuala by swimming in a relay team, Karen in a single kayak and Lorna by sail.

There are many other online talks and events to enjoy in this year’s festival; from the very popular Lunchtime Lecture Series with UCC and Nano Nagle Place to a virtual live tour of Spike Island.

Through your smartphone, explore Cork City with two different audio trails: Find out about the Marina with Cllr Kieran McCarthy’s heritage trail, or discover the stories and songs hidden in the trees and bricks of our city spaces with A City and A Garden presented by Sounds from a Safe Harbour with Body & Soul.

The flagship Ocean to City race has gone virtual too, and spectators can follow the many participants across the world as they challenge themselves with the Ocean to City #fivemilesfromhome. You can follow their progress on the festival’s social media feeds and live Instagram broadcast.

As part of a very special event, Cork School of Music’s sound installation Notes to a Star will be encoded by the team at MTU Blackrock Castle Observatory and beamed to a distant exoplanet and its parent star, Bran and Tuiren, arriving there in 2033.

See the full festival programme of events at corkharbourfestival.com. Pre-booking is essential for all physical events with a maximum 15 person capacity in line with current guidelines for organised events.

Cork Harbour Festival is organised by Meitheal Mara, the community boatyard, training centre and charity located in the heart of Cork City. The Festival is sponsored by Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Port of Cork and Failte Ireland and made possible with the help of over 30 Event Partners and many volunteers.

Visit the Cork Harbour Festival website for the full programme and details on how to book.

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