Cracking Easter line-up for festival weekend

Easter Bunnies and members of Revolution Cycling Club getting ready to lead the PiCycles 10km Family Fun Cycle from Mallow Castle on Easter Monday last yera. Hopefully an equally big crowd will come out for next Monday’s cycle.

The craic will be mighty in Mallow this weekend as the 8th annual Racing Home for Easter Festival gets underway on Saturday morning. The momentum has been building for the past few months, with the festival committee breathing new life into the entertainment lineup to amuse and amaze attendees.
The 3 day event kicks off at 11am on Saturday morning with some fresh and funny faces taking a trip from Market Square, stopping for a song and scéal or two on the way to Mallow Castle as they encourage everyone to get into the festival mood. Market Square will also host the large-scale Mad Hatter’s Tea Party all day – it’s sure to be a spectacle, a conversation piece and a great photo opportunity!
Those attending the Family Fun Day on Easter Saturday from 12 noon will be entertained by the sounds of groups from the Mallow Arts Collective Musical Showcase and Mallow Bible Fellowship, while performers from Buí Bolg will wow the crowds with their comedy joust performances, Gardaí on horseback; fire breathers, stilt walkers and more! The day kicks off with the Country Lifestyle Pet Show, plus amusements including the Castle Choo Choo, surf simulator and more to entertain everyone.
The attention switches to tasty treats and creativity on Easter Sunday, with over 50 stalls booked in for the Artisan Food and Craft Fair, which is a huge attraction and vehicle to promote the wonderful small food and craft producers in the Blackwater Valley and beyond, accompanied by the sounds of the Cork Light Orchestra, while Easter Monday also sees Mallow Castle act as the venue for the Family Fun 10km cycle hosted by PiCycles and Revolution Cycling Club.
“Cork County Council has invested massively in the grounds in the last 12 months and it is a wonderful venue in the middle of our town that we can be very proud of,” says festival chairperson Mary Kelly. “It provides the perfect safe and central location for the jam packed weekend programme of events and is easily accessible to all,” says Mary.
The Castle provides the perfect backdrop for the Easter Sunday Food and Craft Fair and the heady mix of scents, smells and visions on offer from 9am on Easter Sunday morning. For the foodies, there’ll be mouth-watering wood fired pizza; tempting yet healthy frozen yogurt; foods and more burgers and BBQ goodies than you can shake a stick at, while with hand crafted jewellery and mosaics to wooden puzzles and artisan soaps, the standard of the creative stalls this year is excellent.
Fashion will be flying high on #MostStylishSunday, as Cork Airport and Cork International Hotel are the new joint sponsors of the fashionable feature event. Jessica O’Gara will be looking for stand-out style, and the high flying winner and a guest will head Stateside with Norwegian to Boston Providence, with pre-flight accommodation and dinner in the Cork International Hotel and free car parking for the duration of the trip; access to the private business lounge and a voucher for The Loop for duty free treats before taking off for three nights in luxury accommodation in the four-star Lenox Hotel in Boston. As always, the men aren’t forgotten, as the most dapper gent on the day will scoop a €500 voucher for Barry’s Menswear Mallow.
Meanwhile, €346,000 is on offer over the 3-day traditional Easter race meeting at Cork Racecourse Mallow, and sales and marketing manager Mary Kelly says the action will be a top class mix of flat, National Hunt, hunter chasing and point to point flat races. “On Saturday, the feature race is the ultra-competitive Cork Handicap; on Sunday, the Grade 3 Imperial Call Chase, while on Monday we switch it up for a brilliant mix of flat racing, hunter chasing and point to point flat races, so there’s something for everyone over the three day festival.”
On Easter Monday, pipe bands from all over the county will converge on Mallow Castle for a public concert as part of Cruinniú na Cásca 2017, the nationwide celebration of the arts and creativity. The Mallow Pipe Band Gathering is organised by Cork County Council and is free of charge for everyone from 3pm-5.30pm.
The three days will be showcased this week with local radio station C103 bringing their Cork Today programme to the Hibernian Hotel on Holy Thursday to help spread the word. “Once again, we’re thrilled to have the opportunity to welcome Patricia, JP and the ‘Cork Today’ team into the heart of Mallow to show them exactly what this festival is about and to discuss issues affecting our town and the surrounding area from 10am to 1pm,” says Mary.
Mary acknowledges the huge community effort behind the ever popular event. “Once again, this festival simply could not happen without the dedication of our festival committee and volunteers; the support of the local business community; the co-operation and financial backing of Cork County Council and other funding bodies; and community groups such as Mallow Tidy Towns, Mallow Arts Collective and of course, An Garda Síochana. We hope everyone enjoys the festival and that we can make them smile over the 3 days.”
Check out the full programme of events at, on Twitter @mallowfestival or on Home for Easter, or Instagram. You can book special value racing packages online now at