The city’s biggest shindig is the two-week Galway Arts Festival in July (wwww.galwayartsfestival.com), a volatile mix of drama, music, poetry, dance and the visual arts, with a headlining parade by flamboyant local street-theatre company Macnas. Hard on its heels, in late July or early August, comes the even headier brew of the Galway Races at Ballybrit, about 5km east of town (wwww.galwayraces.com), when farmers and politicians rub shoulders to party and bet. The diverse festival calendar also includes part of the Father Ted jamboree, Cúirt, an international festival of literature in late April (wwww.galwayartscentre.ie/cuirt), the Galway Early Music Festival in late May (wwww.galwayearlymusic.com), the Galway Sessions of Irish and Scottish music in June (wwww.galwaysessions.com) and a prestigious, week-long cinema festival in early July, the Film Fleadh (wwww.galwayfilmfleadh.com). There’s a weekend jazz festival in mid-September (wwww.galwayjazzfestival.com), while at the end of September, the riotous, four-day Galway Oyster Festival (wwww.galwayoysterfest.com) includes the world oyster-shucking championships. Towards the end of the year, Baboró is an international arts festival for children in October (wwww.baboro.ie), while November’s TULCA is a festival of contemporary visual art (wwww.tulca.ie).

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