Killarney Events, Things to Do and Festivals 2014 / 2015

(Killarney, County Kerry, Republic of Ireland)

Picture of the Fitzgerald Stadium (Staidiam Mhic Gearailt)Whenever there are festivals and events in Killarney, it is hard not to miss the occasion, as the streets go from placid to hectic. There are plenty of things to do at most events, from drinking Guinness and parading on St. Patrick's Day, to enjoying days of fun during a number of locally-inspired events.

The Gathering Festival is a fun-packed event in March and is followed by St. Patrick's Day. Next up is the Olde Machinery Rally and the Pan Celtic Festival in April, while the Killarney Summerfest is a hot and crowded event each July.

Killarney Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • New Year's Day - January 1st, a public holiday as with most countries elsewhere in the world, with plenty of celebrations to usher in the New Year


  • Scoil Cheoil an Earraigh - with traditional Irish music in the nearby town of Ballyferriter, located on the Dingle Peninsula, some 75 km / 47 miles to the west of the town


  • Gathering Festival - early March, a long weekend (four-day) event featuring traditional music and dancing, as well as games and live shows, with top acts from around Ireland
  • St. Patrick's Day - March 17th, the top Irish event of the year, celebrated around the world with Guinness drinking, parades and partying galore. Killarney puts on authentic Irish music, singing and dancing
  • Dingle Film Festival - mid-March, with screenings of local and international films in various venues around nearby Dingle


  • Olde Machinery Rally - over Easter, this fun event - full title 'The Olde Machinery Rally and Fancy Dress Classic Car Rally' - is one of the most interesting of the year, with the clunking of old bangers and lots of food and drink
  • Pan Celtic Festival - mid-April and hailing from the 1970s, this all-Celtic event shows Celtic cultures from Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man, Cornwall and Brittany, and has live music, parades, dancing and sporting events
  • Dingle Arts Festival - late April, week-long arts events staged all around the Dingle Peninsula, with live music and family shows


  • Labour Day (Lá an Lucht Oibre) - first Monday in May, an Irish national holiday
  • Killarney Races / Spring Festival - mid-May sees three days of horse racing amid the surrounding mountains and lakes, featuring both flat racing and a steeplechase course. There are also similar events in July and August


  • Listowel Writers Week - early June, staged at the nearby market town of Listowel and featuring creative writing workshops and poetry, just over 50 km / 31 miles to the north
  • Cahersiveen International Angling Competition - early June, with two full days of light-line and open-boat fishing in the region, followed by eating, drinking and story-swapping
  • Kerry Festival of Music - held in the neighbouring town of Kenmare, situated just a short distance to the south of the National Park


  • Killarney Summerfest - mid-July to early August, perhaps the most exciting event of the year after St. Patrick's Day, the highly enjoyable Summerfest has street entertainment, live music, theatre and fun for all the family. Many of the attractions are centred around the Fitzgerald Stadium, while the 'Summer Laughs' comedy programme showcases local talent at venues in the town centre
  • Killarney Races - mid-July, a highlight of region's horse racing calendar, with Kids Day, Ladies Day, the Kerryman Long Distance Hurdle and the popular Dawn Dairies Queen of Fashion contest
  • Irish Open - late July, this annual golfing event is held at the Killarney Golf and Fishing Club, featuring top names in the game from around Ireland, the UK and Europe


  • Killarney Races - mid-August, more horse racing fun, including both the Listed Vincent O'Brien Memorial Ruby Stakes and the Grade C Lough Leane Handicap Steeplechase
  • Killarney Regatta - late August, a fun event taking place on Lough Leane, with rowers from around the country competing in this highly energetic sport


  • Listowel Races Harvest Festival Meeting - late September, a week-long horse racing event staged in nearby Listowel, steeped in history and dating back more than 150 years


  • Dingle Food and Wine Festival - early October, lasting three days, with a food market and cookery demonstrations, based around the centre of nearby Dingle town
  • Kerry Film Festival - late October to early November, this week-long movie fest with new films from around the country and attracts thousands of spectators to its many venues


  • Listowel Food Fair - early November, with restaurant competitions, cookery workshops, cake decorating and lots of Irish food to enjoy
  • Tralee Circus Festival - originally a juggling convention and now including many other elements of the contemporary circus scene, such as acrobatics and unicycling, staged at the Siamsa Tire Theatre in nearby Tralee, just over 30 km / 19 miles to the north


  • Children's Torch Light Parade - in early December, featuring parading children through Killarney's streets on their way to see Santa. This fun family evening also involves the Christmas Lights Switch-on
  • St. Stephen's Day / Wren's Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) - December 26th, the official feast day of St. Stephen, with numerous local celebrations