Riverfest gets summer in Limerick off to a flying start

A fly boarding stunt performer lights up the Limerick sky during Riverfest. Photo: Diarmuid O'Donovan

RIVERFEST drew big crowds to Limerick over the May bank holiday weekend with local bars, restaurants and hotels benefitting from the tens of thousands of extra people in the city across the four days.

Gardaí estimated that more than 140,000 visitors descended on city, with a spokesman stating it was “far busier than last year.”

Fair weather was a factor as families and festival fans enjoyed a spectacular fireworks display, water-based stunts on the River Shannon, a sizzling barbecue and live music at King John’s Castle.

The Fly Boarding stunt performers proved a major attraction with other aquatic activities included Swimmable Limerick, stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, and Dragonboating.

An Irish Defence Forces transport helicopter touched down at Merchants Quay while children had their fun at the Slime Lab and a popular scavenger hunt across the city for little explorers to enjoy.

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Over 60,000 people soaked up the atmosphere at the Riverfestival Village at Arthurs Quay Park with music, food and vintage amusements.

The Panoramic Wheel and this year’s addition of the Freedrop into an airbag were top attractions for those with a head for heights.

Fashion Friday with Celia Holman Lee helped to kick the festival off in style while more than a thousand people gathered for the Rogu ‘Firestorm’ fire display later on Friday evening.

The BBQ on the boardwalk fed the masses on Saturday as companies and charities from across the Mid-West served up mouthwatering fare to thousands of visitors to Howley’s Quay.

Although there was disappointment for Limerick Hurling fans on Saturday night, the 30,000 attendance at the TUS Gaelic Grounds helped to swell the numbers in the city across the day and night.

Riverfest was also the ideal backdrop for the Regeneron Great Limerick Run with participants and supporters enjoying after-race parties on Sunday evening.

Hermitage Green lit up Kings John’s Castle before the Riverfest Fireworks Spectacular illuminated the night sky on Sunday.

Mayor Francis Foley said there was an incredible atmosphere in Limerick over the weekend.

“The good weather helped to draw in the crowds and there was so much going on it was difficult to take it all in. It is great to see  Limerick City becoming the place to be on every May bank holiday weekend. I look forward to an even bigger event for the 20th annual festival next year,” the mayor added.

Limerick City and County Council Head of Marketing and Communications Donn O’Sullivan said Riverfest was growing every year and the numbers attending concerts, matches and the Great Limerick Run, confirmed that the May Bank Holiday weekend is one to circle in the 2024 calendar already.