Chairman of the Kildare Derby Festival, Ollie Kearns pictured with contestants in the Derby Festival Queen 2017 contest, Lauren Barry, Emma Hughes, Nicole Carroll, and Nicole Hyland, at the launch
The launch of the 39th Derby Festival took place on Wednesday evening at the Curragh Racecourse.
A packed festival programme was presented on the night with many highlights over this year's festival which will take place from June 23 to July 2 next.
Chairperson Ollie Kearns said they are on a count down to next year's big 40th.
“This is our 39th year - we're in practice for our big 40th bash next year which is going to be really big for us,” he said.
“The preparation for the festival goes on all year. After the festival we have the person of the year awards and then it's on to the Christmas tree in Kildare to wn. We have many highlights this year including some local talent who will perform such as 'The Voices of Kildare'. We are all about supporting local talent and they will perform alongside Abbaesque on the Saturday night concert. They have some of the best voices in Kildare. Chapel Hill from Kildare will also be performing again this year.”
The festival will take place over two weekends and promises to have something for all the family starting with the Festival Queen nomination on Friday, June 23 and the main event which is the parade on Sunday June 25 at 2pm.
There will be entertainment in the Market from 12 that day with Eurostar Bounce children's entertainment.
There will be an open air concert on Saturday July 1 and all events are free.
Throughout the week there will be an art and photo exhibition in Aras Bhride.
And on Thursday, June 29 local poet Mae Leonard and friends will tell stories at the library from 7.30pm.