Sunday June 2nd & Monday June 3rd 2024

Sunday June 2nd & Monday June 3rd 2024

There’s nothing like a festival to get people together, having fun and celebrating. If you missed last year’s fantastic festival, make sure you don’t miss this year’s.

The Festival of Ferns is all about having fun, celebrating what makes us unique – our people and our heritage.

We have something to suit all ages – activities for kids, buskers on Main Street, music in local pubs, a Celtic jazz concert on Sunday night on the grounds of Ferns Castle, a festival parade followed by an inauguration, re-enactment and performances of music and contemporary dance on an outdoor stage at Ferns Castle.

All events are free and open to all. We want you to share in our celebration, so make sure and save the dates
June 2nd and 3rd, 2024.

Programme of Events at the Festival of Ferns

Celtic Jazz Concert

This Celtic Jazz concert will premiere the ‘Marriage of Two Cultures’ , a specially commissioned piece inspired by the Gaelic/Norman relationship established in 12th century by Diarmait MacMurrough, King of Leinster through to contemporary times.

The concert, starting at 7pm, will take place on an outdoor stage on the grounds of Ferns Castle.

This special piece, commissioned by the Ferns Heritage Project in collaboration with the Wexford Normandy Cultural Association will be performed by award winning vocalist/composer Melanie O’Reilly and her Celtic Jazz Ensemble. The performance will also feature renowned choreographer Karine Saporta, and her dancers from Normandy. Karine is one of the most prominent figures in French dance.

Both artists were inspired by the meeting of two cultures and the mix of contemporary dance and celtic jazz rooted in traditional Irish when creating this contemporary piece.

Fuinseog Woodland Crafts

Family Fun at Ferns Community Park

We have a range of activities for the young and not so young – ideal for a family day out. These activities take place on Sunday, June 2nd from 2pm – 6pm

Activities include:

Bemusement Games by Fuinseog Woodland Crafts. Unique, hand crafted wooden games inspired by traditional games of yore.
Setanta Challenge – Test your skills with the Setanta Challenge.
Medieval Stocks – Have fun trying out this form of medieval punishment.

MacMurrough Coat of Arms

Norman & Gaelic Names Exhibition

Exhibition by pupils in both local schools. Following a workshop by Ronan O’Flaherty, pupils were invited to research their own Coat of Arms and to create their own if they couldn’t find theirs or if they fancied something different. They had such fun at the workshop discussing the meaning of their names – we look forward to the results. The Exhibition is on Sunday, June 2nd from 2pm – 6pm.


Guided Tours

If you are interested in history and heritage or just curious about the Gaelic king who changed the course of Irish history, we have a variety of guided tours on offer over the 2 day festival.

Medieval themed guided walking tours in 4 languages: Japanese, French, Irish and English. 

Over the two-day festival the following tours are available:

Sunday, June 2nd at 11.00am
Tour in Japanese with Mika Yakushiji.

Sunday, June 2nd at 12noon
Tour in French by Rom Bates

Monday, June 3rd at 3.00pm
Tour in Irish with Brid Ní Néill

Monday, June 3rd at 5.30pm
Tour in English with Catherine MacPartlin

Meet at the entrance to the graveyard adjacent to St. Edan’s Cathedral

As places are limited to 10 people, please email: [email protected] to book your place

A Story of Bees

Local Bee Keeper Joe Kelly will tell and show you all the bees. His talk will take place at the skeps in the graveyard adjacent to St. Edan’s Cathedral.

These are beautiful art installations funded by the #AncientConnections programme and they will be home to real, live bees. Joe will tell you all about it.

His Talk and Display will start at 12 noon on Sunday, June 2nd.

Meet at the entrance to the graveyard adjacent to St. Edan’s Cathedral

You can book your place by emailing: [email protected].

Tour of Ferns Tapestry

Members of the Ferns Tapestry Group will give guided tours of the unique 25 panel tapestries created by local women.

Ferns Castle Visitor Centre is home to these treasures which depict the story of Ferns from the time of St. Aidan to the arrival of the Normans.

Two x 30-minute tours are available on Monday, June 3rd at 4.15pm and 4.45pm.

Rebel Tour of Ferns

Meet at the entrance to the graveyard adjacent to St. Edan’s Cathedral

As places are limited to 10 people, please email: [email protected] to book your place.

This tour will take people through the village with Barry Lacey,exploring sites and learning of individuals associated with the 1798 rebellion, the 1916 rising, Irish War of Independence and Civil War.

Barry’s tour starts at 5pm on Monday, June 3rd

Music in Local Pubs – Trad, Folk, Dixieland, Blues and more……

There will be a feast of music in all Ferns pubs on Sunday, June 2 including Dunbars, Peter Doyle’s, The Thatch and The Courtyard. Music will commence at 3.30pm immediately after the Ferns Patron until late in the evening.

Artists booked to appear include Kieran McEvoy, Karen Dunbar, Pat Fitzpatrick, Eddie Crean & Richard King, Brian Wall & Sean Mythen, Helena Dunbar and her trad group, trad box players PJ Arthur & Lar White and many more. An afternoon and evening of musicianship and enjoyment is sure to ensue so don’t miss out on the fun! Weather permitting many session will be help outdoors. Hopefully on this occasion the weather will oblige so grab your dancing shoes and singing voice and make sure you get to at least one or two of these venues.