Learning archery at last year's Kildare Town Medieval Festival.
The third annual Kildare Town Medieval Festival will take place tomorrow Sunday, August 20, presented by the Kildare Town Tourism Group.
The festival is a great opportunity for the people of Kildare to celebrate their Medieval past. The town was once a military base for Strongbow, and has been a significant settlement in the east since the establishment of a monastery there during the 5th century, making it one of the most important in early medieval Ireland.
During the Medieval period Kildare became an enclosed town.
While very little evidence of this enclosure remains except in the naming of streets and Kildare Castle, the Tourism Group seeks to explore and interpret this heritage through the Medieval Festival.
This is the third year of this great family-orientated event and it promises to be better than ever.
Margaret and Sean Riordan, who are both on the Medieval Festival Committee.
Attractions will include the Medieval Market, Food and Craft Market, Tented Viking Village from Deise Re-enactors and traditional Irish music concert in the beautiful St. Brigid’s Cathedral.
For the more adventurous, there will be the chance to win some great prizes for Medieval Dress-up (boys, girls, group categories) and Best Beard Competition supported by the Mad Viking Beard and Moustache Competition and Roches Barbers.
May of the activities during the day seek to explore and explain the traditions of medieval town life — such as ribbon dancing, wandering minstrel, falconry display, horseshoe throwing, craft area for kids and craft demonstrations such as nalbinding, willow weaving and wool spinning.
This festival is a unique blend of heritage and craft.
Eamonn Fahy, Alpaca Wool Spinner
There will be plenty of interest for art lovers too with an exhibition of the Book of Kildare upstairs in the Heritage Centre and calligraphy workshops in St. Brigid’s Cathedral throughout the day.
Visitors should pick up a programme of what’s happening on the day at the Information Tent when they arrive at Market Square and check out the Facebook page @kildaremedievalfest or Kildareheritage.com
Those travelling on the day are reminded that Kildare Town is well served with public transport from Dublin Coach, Bus Eireann and Irish Rail.
Kildare Town is a member of the Irish Walled Towns Network which seeks to promote the conservation of walled towns throughout Ireland and to develop a greater understanding of this unique aspect of our heritage.
Funding is made available to members of the Irish Walled Towns Network to conserve remains of the town defences or to provide interpretation of this period of the town history.
Walled towns and cities are an important national heritage asset.
They link communities to their past, while shaping the current and future urban form and fabric of our modern settlements.
The remaining walls or former sites/routes, when effectively conserved, managed and promoted help to create a ‘unique sense of place, belonging and identity’ and are an important long term source of civic pride and focus for tourism, cultural and economic development.
The conservation and management of the historic walls also contribute to an enhanced quality of life for residents and visitors alike.
The Kildare Town Tourism Group has secured the support of the Heritage Council, Kildare County Council and the Creative Ireland fund in order to expand their annual Medieval Festival.
Read more: Viking theme for Kildare's Medieval Festival