Púca Festival (31 Oct–2 Nov)
Ireland is the home of Halloween, which has its roots in the tradition of Samhain (the old Irish for ‘summer’s end’). The Púca Festival celebrates this tradition with three breathtaking nights of music, food and spectacle at a time when the veil between realities draws thin, and the spirits can move between worlds. Entertainment abounds: from Shadows of the Tain by Candlelit Tales (shadow puppetry with live musical accompaniment); to a haunting performance by singer-songwriter Lisa O'Neill; to Jerry Fish and his unearthly Púca Sideshow (one of three Trim Castle Concerts), an amazing festival line-up will light up the night skies.
The Feast of Samhain@Púca gives you the chance to sample the finest harvest dishes from award-winning Boyne Valley food and drink producers across restaurants, cafés and pubs in Athboy, Trim and Drogheda. Dishes created especially to celebrate Samhain using amazing local produce are paired with local craft beverages. Come and enjoy a Theatre of Food experience, free talks and information sessions from food producers, foragers and artisans – and celebrate the bounty of the season. For tickets and full event details, visit the Púca Festival website.
Wexford Spiegeltent (10–28 Oct)
Now in its 7th year, the Wexford Spiegeltent festival in Wexford Town continues to combine a refreshing and eclectic mix of offerings – from the sublime to the surreal. With top-class diversions from music acts as varied as Smokie, The Coronas and Squeeze to rip-roaringly funny comedy from the likes of John Bishop, Neil Delamere and Reginald D. Hunter to mindblowing entertainment from OTT Wrestling, Keith Barry and Freak Fantastique – the festival truly has something for all tastes.
When you’re not rocking out or giggling the night away, why not discover what else Wexford has to offer? If arts are your thing, the Wexford Arts Centre is right up your street. If you fancy a bit of history and heritage, explore the Viking architecture while wandering through cobbled laneways, taking in the West Gate Heritage Tower and ruins of Selskar Abbey along the way.
Wexford Festival Opera (22 Oct–3 Nov)
As one of Europe’s longest-established and most popular opera events, this sparkling gem in the Wexford festival calendar has gone from strength to strength. With Massenet's Don Quichotte, Irish composer Charles Villiers Stanford's The Veiled Prophet and the annual Gala Concert amongst the many highlights, the 68th year of Wexford Festival Opera will not disappoint.
To complement your festival experience, take the time to venture outside Wexford Town and you’ll be richly rewarded. Discover the story of the Great Hunger in the area at the fascinating Dunbrody Famine Ship in nearby New Ross. Embrace the seasonal spookiness with a trip to eerie Loftus Hall, Ireland’s ‘most haunted house’; then blow away any lingering cobwebs by visiting the world’s second oldest working lighthouse at Hook Head – where you’ll take in some stunning views along with plenty of bracing sea air.