Countdown to the Conference
Things to do in Athlone
Don’t Miss the first ever Athlone Shannon Feastival this September
Athlone, the heart of Ireland, is beating faster as the town gears up for the first ever Athlone Shannon Feastival this September 8thand 9th.
The festival, highlighting the best of Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, will feature a variety of exciting events, family friendly activities and great local food.
The Athlone Shannon Feastival will celebrate the beautiful River Shannon’s connection with Athlone, featuring several water-based events includingflyboarding, rowing and raft racing, to name a few. Other festival highlights across the weekend include an artisan food village where the local food producers and restaurants will be showcasing the best food that the local area has to offer, chocolate painting workshops and live music. Keep a sharp eye out for Vikings too! Over the weekend enjoy a series of talks, workshops, tours and even an interactive Viking Village.
The festival takes Athlone right up to the 2018 World Canal Conference which starts on September 10th. In Ireland for the very first time, this is a global conference that brings together hundreds of canal and waterway enthusiasts, professionals and academics.
Local food and drink producers and experience providers are invited to get involved in the festivities and to help make the Athlone Shannon Feastival a truly memorable occasion.
On Saturday 8th September, The Heritage Boat Association will proudly display up to 20 of their spectacular vessels near the town bridge and East Quay. Afterwards, why not relax at Sean’s Bar with a winning combination of Guinness and oysters, while a live jazz band creates a laid-back atmosphere. Later that evening, satisfy your appetite while supporting your favourite local hotel or restaurant as they compete to prepare the best Viking style barbecue.
On Sunday 9th September witness local crews compete to be the ‘Champions of the Shannon’ in the Leisure Boat Rowing Races. You also won’t want to miss the Flyboarding demonstration as professional flyboarders will hover over the river performing a variety of stunts and tricks. Finish off the day by taking a scenic tour along the River Shannon, sampling local whiskey and chocolate, on a replica Viking Knarr ship.
Speaking about the launch of the Athlone Shannon Feastival, Waterways Ireland Head of Communications said “Waterways Ireland is delighted that the 100’s of international delegates attending the World Canals conference will get a real flavor of the Shannon and Athlone through the Shannon Athlone Feastivel which has been supported through the Waterways Ireland Event Programme.”
It’s going to be a truly fantastic weekend in Athlone that you won’t want to miss.
Visit http://www.athlone.ie/visit/athlone-shannon-feastival/ and https://www.facebook.com/shannonfeastivalathlone/
or follow @Ath_Feastival
MUSIC & ENTERTAINMENT
Athlone is full of music, from traditional Irish sounds through to modern Country & Western and chart music. The town is also home to the largest Drama Festival in Ireland; the 2018 programme is currently in development.
Explore one of Ireland’s richest monastic sites. An Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe. The original high crosses and a selection of grave slabs are on display in the visitor centre.The long and varied history of Clonmacnoise is recounted in an audio-visual presentation shown in the visitor centre. There are also exhibitions that deal with the flora, fauna and landscape of the region.
THE HILL OF UISNEACH
The Hill of Uisneach in County Westmeath is one of Ireland’s most treasured and most mysterious historical attractions. Situated between the towns of Athlone and Mullingar, it was the ancient seat of the Kings of Meath; its historical roots go back to the La Tene period of the Iron Age. The importance of the Hill of Uisneach as a prehistoric meeting place is reflected in the large number of monuments (almost 20) that are scattered around its environs. Around and on top of the hill are the remains of circular enclosures, barrows, cairns, a holy well and two ancient roads, ring forts and tumuli.
DÚN NA SÍ AMENITY & HERITAGE PARK
Dún na Sí Amenity & Heritage Park is a lovely getaway, full of natural beauty. With a series of paths, a wetland reserve, parklands, it is an ideal place to escape to unwind. Whether you would like a walk in the fresh air or a real taste of Irish history,
FOOD & DRINK
Athlone is home to an extensive range of bars and restaurants. From Lebanese to Thai, traditional and modern Irish cuisine through to Italian and Indian food every taste can be fulfilled in the town centre.
The Ancient Waters of Athlone and Lough ree
From centuries-old pubs to a booming restaurant scene, Athlone is bustling, vibrant destination surrounded by some of the most spectacular landscapes in Ireland.
LOUGH BOORA DISCOVERY PARK
Transformed from its previous incarnation as a commercial bog where peat was harvested to heat homes around the country, today Lough Boora Discovery Park is home to countless species of birds and wildlife, fish-filled lakes and a permanent exhibition of huge outdoor sculptures. These sculptures give the park an other-worldly feel, created using the old industrial materials of the bog such as locomotives, rail-line and timber, all crafted into magnificent works of art.
From traditional irish crafts and arts, local boutiques and international brands, Athlone’s shopping streets and centres offer the visitor an interesting shopping experience, whether your buying for yourself, your home or for others.
For further information on accommodation, social programme and registration please contact:
Conference Partners International
T: + 353 1 296 8688
If you would like further information on the programme, please contact: WCC2018Programme@conferencepartners.ie