Festival of Ferns
The Festival of Ferns was a community festival, led by Wexford based events company Lantern. The festival celebrated Ferns’ unique heritage as the site of St Aidan’s monastery, ancient capital of Leinster, seat of Diarmuid Macmurrough, the Gaelic king who is said to be responsible for the Noman invasion of Ireland.
During April and May 2023, Lanterns artist Caoimhe Dunn worked with schools and community groups to create beautiful puppets and costumes for the parade. She coordinated 12 fantastic workshops which had over 300 local participants.
The festival itself took place in Ferns on the bank holiday weekend of June 4th and 5th 2023. The Sunday had a music trail around the pubs in Ferns with over 15 bands playing throughout the day and night and a beautiful concert in St Edans Cathedral by traditional singer-songwriter Melanie O’Reilly.
Monday’s festival was launched by a parade from the cathedral to Ferns Castle with 85 participants from various local groups. The event continued with a festival in the castle grounds and performances from local musicians, choirs, dancers and medieval jousting from the Horse Men of Eire. The event was attended by around 2500 people from the local area.
The event could not have happened without the contributions of:
- Fearna Mens Shed
- Ferns Comhaltas
- Helena Dunbar’s School of Music
- Deirdre Furlong’s School of Irish Dance
- Edan’s National School & Scoil Naomh Maodhóg
- Ferns Community Development Association
- Ferns Heritage Project
- Ferns Medieval Experience
- Small World Theatre
- Enniscorthy Historical Re-enactment Society
- Chord on Blues Choir
In addition we would like to thank Small World Theatre for bringing their giant Dewi Sant puppet over from Wales to join the parade.
The community of Ferns hope to fundraise in order to make the festival an annual or bi-annual event.