HELLO FESTIVAL FEVER!
It seems to happen almost overnight! One day Ennis is a quiet town in winter, going about its business – the next, posters go up, people are on the streets and the pretty, winding streets take on a new splash of colour and life! Festival season has come to town! Just as the first daffodil marks the arrival of early Spring, so the Ennis Book Club Festival heralds the beginning of a string of fabulous celebrations and special interest festivities that continues right through summer – and truly promises something for everyone. Whatever your passion and however you choose to explore this fascinating little part of the world – you’ll find it embraced in fine form, here in colourful, creative, musical, fashionable Ennis! And enjoying a stay at Rowan Tree Hostel gives you a comfortable, quality and sociable gateway to it all!
Each year The Ennis Book Club Festival, held in early March, seems to burn bigger and brighter – a fabulous mix of readings, discussions, comedy and fun focused on all things books! And of course, plenty of big name authors sharing their thoughts and work. This year’s chapter of the festival was no different. As usual, lots of guests checked in to the Rowan Tree Hostel, while our sister restaurant, Rowan Tree Café Bar, hosted its legendary ‘Books and Buns’ Morning. Another highlight at the café was a Festival Club evening – a sociable event where guests mingled with authors and enjoyed the typical great local food for which the Café Bar is famous – from St Tola’s Goat’s Cheese to traditionally cured fine meats.
Coinciding with the Festival is the West Clare Drama Festival in Doonbeg – where three act plays by Irish and international writers are performed and compete for nomination to the All-Ireland Finals. There’s no better way to sample the culture and Ireland’s passion for story-telling – and it’s just a short drive out of Ennis.
The next stop for the ‘festival bus’ is St Patrick’s Day – and Ennis is all about the craic! Each year there’s a fabulous parade through the town, showcasing the very best of local clubs, culture, interests and groups – from Irish dancing to hurling. The whole town is a party!
And talking of tradition, you’ll be stuck for choice when looking to sample something ‘typically Irish’. Take the Annual National Concertina Convention for example – a salute to the instrument’s special place in the local music landscape. There are concerts, performances, workshops and socials – and a chance to just enjoy this essentially Irish passion… all within walking distance of our hostel.
Ennis (and surrounding villages) is also known for its colourful character and quirky appreciation of life – which really comes alive in festivals such as the Irish Best Beard and Moustache Championships in Corofin… and of course the world famous Father Ted Festival that honours Ireland’s favourite off-beat priest!
If you’re a lover of nature and gardening, you’ll get your own dose of festival fever – with the headline act being the Clare Garden Festival: a truly impressive show of show gardens, garden and food stalls, competitions and expert demos. It’s a must – and a great family day out. Then there’s the Burren in Bloom Festival – a series of talks and guided walks celebrating the May blooming of the unique and diverse range of flowers in the Burren.
If we tell you that this is all before summer even kicks off, you’ll see why Ennis is a festival fan’s paradise – and Rowan Tree Hostel is the best way to enjoy it all. We’re all about the spirit – the sharing of experiences and festival friendliness. And whatever type of room you’re looking for – from single rooms to 14-sleeper dorms - we welcome you! We’d love to see you festival with us soon!