‘Barbies Over a Barrell’ at Killeen Castle - Kiara Gilleece, Kelly-Anne Quinn, Annie Sharp, Aoife Blake, Naoise Hartigan, Kate Naughton and Fiona Morgan. PHOTOS: DES O'NEILL

Open-air concert on Friday night to get Dunshaughlin Harvest Festival off to a start

Weekend of music, fun, and entertainment promised in 11th running of event

Over a decade since it was first staged to entertain visitors to the Solheim Cup at Killeen Castle, Dunshaughlin is gearing up to present its 11th Harvest Festival this weekend.

Following on the phenomenal success of last year’s festival, and its record attendance, estimated at around 10,000 over the three days, even more events and attract this year will be sure to please everyone.

The fun kicks off with a free open-air concert in Dunshaughlin Park (past SuperValu), on Friday 22nd September at 7.30pm. The festival stage - just back from Glastonbury and Electric Picnic - will be in the centre of the park, and an eclectic line up of performers is guaranteed to keep the crowd well entertained for the evening.

Saturday brings events such as a kids’ disco; an open mic opportunity for local entertainers to perform on the festival stage (entertainment@dunfest.com to register); bouncy zones for small children and older children, kids’ funfair; face painting; henna tattoos; escape rooms; a petting farm and a whole lot more. A ceilí will take place in St Patrick’s Hall from 9pm on Saturday evening, and there will be live music in most of the pubs in the village all weekend.

The food and craft market will be open in the park from 10am, on Saturday and Sunday, with a huge variety of dining options to choose from. The festival train will be in action bringing visitors to all areas of the park, and there will be live music and dance on the main stage throughout the weekend.

There are competitions galore: a baking competition; bingo; races and novelty races; sports; soccer; adult musical ‘chairs; a children’s dog show with three categories – Happiest dog; best dressed; best trick - entries to dunfest.com/dogshow. The finalists will be selected from online entries, and the live final will take place on Sunday 24th on the main stage.

Sunday’s events include an open day at Dunshaughlin Fire Station from 12 noon to 3pm; science shows; magic shows; puppet shows; carnival games; and, for many, the highlight of the festival, the Big Parade, which this year, focuses on the community that makes Dunshaughlin such a great place to live in and to visit. Many events will have Irish Sign Language interpreters, and sensory friendly time for some attractions can be provided on request.

Killeen Castle hosted the pre-Festival quiz where 40 teams fought it out to become Dunfest Quiz Champions, with winners Anne Marie and Ronan Dalton, Grace Carrick, and Tom Dalton. For a full programme of events, check out www.dunfest.com.