Galway is a lively town all year round, but it really gets going as the sun starts shining.
This year is going to have a roaring start when the Volvo Ocean Race comes to town in May/June. The stopover in this International boat race is a bit of a coup for Galway - if fact, even for Ireland.
The boats will arrive in Galway after racing all the way from Boston, where they will set off this Saturday afternoon (16th May). After some rather tough sailing they will be due here in Galway on the weekend of the 23rd May (obviously they can't give exact times as this is a race dependant on wind and weather).
The stay will be for 2 weeks, with fantastic in-port racing in the middle week and departure on the final weekend of the 6th June.
Here in Galway there will be a lot going on, which will include:
For all the family - street theatre performances in the Race Village and on the Green Dragon route by Arcana, Buí Bolg, Luxe and Tumble Circus, a Promenade Beach Party, Lá Gaeilge, Galway Community Circus, the Volvo Ocean Race experience including the simulator, model boat racing, the grinder challenge and the Dome, air display by the Red Arrows and two world record attempts.
FOR CONCERT GOERS - free concerts by the Hothouse Flowers, Sharon Shannon, Aslan, The Stunning, Kila, The Coronas, Lucia Evans and lots more...
FOR ART LOVERS - trail with 18 exhibitions around the city with a maritime theme including exhibitions and talks at Galway City Museum.
FOR FOOD LOVERS - the best of West of Ireland food at the Race Village and a good variation of cuisine on offer throughout restaurants in the city.
FOR SAILORS - see the might of the Volvo Open 70's up close and your chance to see some of the world's leading ocean sailors. Take the PUMA Mast Challenge. Participate in some fringe sailing events such as the GB09 Cruiser Championships and junior sailing events. View traditional boat racing on Galway Bay.
FOR SCHOOL CHILDREN - visit Galway on your school tour and visit the Galway Atlantaquarium
You can also download and print your own copy of the festival planner here: http://volvoocean.vo.llnwd.net/o29/u/downloads/0809/schedule/galway/galway_volvooceanrace_festivalplanner.pdf
You can follow the race as a group on Facebook here: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=47484745324&ref=ts
See what they have on youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/results?search_type=&search_query=lets+do+it+galway+ocean+race&aq=f
The Irish boat - The Green Dragon - can be followed here: http://www.greendragonracing.com/en/
So, yet another reason to come live in the most lively, artistic and friendly city in Ireland!
Over the coming weeks and months I'll be telling you about the other great festivals here in Galway - the International Festival of Literature, the Galway Arts Festival (Ireland’s largest), the Oyster Festival and of course the Galway Races.