Annually, in July, Glenarm Castle hosts the Dalriada Festival. A showcase of sporting events, music and fine foods, with influences from Scotland and Ireland.
This was our first year attending the Dalriada Festival, and with the sun shining we headed off to the coastal location. Regardless of whether you travel via coast or through the Antrim Glens, the views are stunning. As you turn into Glenarm Castle grounds, the sight of the Castle nestling in the valley, with the sea in the near distance, provides the perfect setting for such an event.
The main arena was host to a Scottish Highland Champion of Champions Competition, and the kilted contestants did not fail to live up to this name!
As with many of the outdoor fairs and events held in Northern Ireland in the summer, there was a variety of stalls offering something for everyone. Including the compulsory display of agricultural machinery which Lewis loves! They also had a bouncy castle and a fairground so lots for kids of all ages.
There was a craft tent full of delightful handmade creations, and a food arena which I had to drag Mr C quickly past. We had already had lunch, but he was considering having a second!
I think the attraction to Dalriada Festival was the selection of entertainment which was provided. Stages had been set up which presented different live music shows throughout the day. We watched the Willie Drennan Band performing Hills o Gallowa’ and I’ll Tell Me Ma, a well known song in Belfast. In addition we saw some Irish and Scottish dancers featured throughout the day, showing off their skills.
I was also lucky enough to see the worlds only Sheep, Goat and Pig, fashion show. There was a distinct lack of any pig entries, and I have to say some of the animals seemed a little shy. It was a good laugh nevertheless, though I would recommend them holding this event in the main arena in future years. Many people couldn’t see the show as it attracted such a large crowd. I actually had to climb a tree to take these photos, and as I’m no spring chicken, that is perhaps not the smartest idea I ever had! Thankfully I survived without breaking anything!
We actually spent so much time wondering around the festival, that we didn’t get the opportunity to explore the gardens of Glenarm Castle itself. I have heard that we missed out! Two young children also prevented us from attending the evening concert, which does cost extra, but has featured some big names such as Ronan Keating, Sharon Corr and Nathan Carter. Perhaps I will try to organise a babysitter for next year’s Dalraida Festival!