Inaugural Festival Lough Erne a successful event

Published: 29th June 2015

Foodies’ and water sports enthusiasts gathered around Enniskillen over the midsummer weekend to enjoy the inaugural Festival Lough Erne.

The 3-day event attracted both locals and visitors to the area, with a full programme of events and activities which showcased what Fermanagh has to offer both in terms of food, local produce and catering, and water based activities such as canoeing and kayaking. Several thousand visitors flocked to the Broadmeadow to watch demonstrations, and sample the results, from celebrity chefs, as well as enjoy some of the signature dishes from local restaurants and hotels in the pop-up restaurant.

The very Rev. Monsignor Peter O’Reilly, and very Rev. Kenneth Hall entered into the festival spirit and provided an entertaining ‘Cook-Off’ on Saturday morning, while aspiring young cooks, aged 7 – 12 years learned how to make buns and banana bread, and the Young Farmers from Lisbellaw and Trillick competed for the best Shepherds Pie.

Visitors to the Festival also had the opportunity to sample some fine foods from Fermanagh at the trade marquee where the collective of Fermanagh’s Larder promoted a variety of local produce.

Meanwhile, out on the water, the Row the Erne club was kept bust with a full schedule of trips in a hand built curach, a traditional open boat, as they completed short tours every half hour. On Enniskillen Island and at Waterways Ireland jetty, a constant flow of visitors, young and old, took part in sample sessions trying their hand at canoeing and kayaking which proved exceptionally popular.

Other entertainment at Festival Lough Erne included the festival concert on Friday evening, where the Bay City Rollers starring Les McKeown was the headline act and a local band, Midnight Graffiti provided a lively support act. Throughout Saturday and Sunday family entertainment included music, street entertainers and traditional amusements for children including an old-fashioned carousel and helter skelter, which were kept fully occupied all day.

The inaugural Festival Lough Erne was organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council in partnership with the Festival Lough Erne Committee, and was part funded by the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tourism NI, Lakelands & Inland Waterways, private sector and Fermanagh and Omagh District Council.

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