Attention Star Wars fans: there's a new festival in Ireland dedicated to all things Star Wars
Brought to you by Discover Ireland.
May the fourth be with you.
It's about time we had a whole day (or days) dedicated to celebrating the best movie franchise to have ever been made. Well, officially at least. (It's not like we don't celebrate it ourselves every year.)
Finally the time has come for Star Wars to be acknowledged and celebrated on a national level with Ireland's new festival, May the 4th Be With You.
What better place to have this celebration than our very own Wild Atlantic Way - the site where scenes from the two latest Star Wars instalments were filmed - and what better day to hold it than May the 4th (be with you)?
It's not just on May 4 that we get to celebrate - the festival is happening from Friday, May 3, to Sunday, May 5. That's right, friends, it's an entire weekend dedicated to a galaxy far, far away. The festival will be taking place in three main spots: Portmagee/Valentia and Ballyferriter in County Kerry, and Malin Head in County Donegal.
No matter what age you are, there will be loads of events to suit. Think drive-in movie screenings (yes!), nighttime lightsaber displays (we LOVE the sound of this), stargazing, and tons more.
Check out the Lightsaber Battle, which will feature a display of over 300 lightsabers creating a stunning visual lights spectacle on the streets of Portmagee. This will celebrate the opening of the festival and takes place on Friday, May 3, from 10 pm to 10:15 pm.
Who doesn't love stargazing? Bring your binoculars and telescopes to the Stargazing Event in Ballyferriter and experience the skies, magic with the rugged Ceann Sibéal and Luke Skywalker locations in the background. The Stargazing will begin at 9:30 pm and is free of charge.
Take a trip on a Skellig Island Eco Tour, where a boat will bring you around the island that was Luke Skywalker's hermit home, and sail over to Skellig Beag as well. It's a fantastic trip on any day and the islands have been beautiful tourist attractions for years, but taking the tour during the festival means you get to celebrate its more modern fame too. This tour starts on the pontoon in Portmagee village centre on May 4 and May 5 and goes on all day. It costs €40 and is bound to be super popular so make sure to book a ticket at Skellig Experience (+353) 66 947 6306 or at Portmagee Pontoon with Local Operators.
For all our gamers, you'll need to head over to the Gamers Corner at the Festival Dome in Valentia, where you can compete in multiplayer Star Wars Battlefront. If you're a gaming fan but don't want to be in the spotlight yourself, the games will also be screened on a big display for everyone to watch. So place your bets, people! You can head to the Gamers Corner between 12 pm and 5 pm on both Saturday and Sunday.
The Drive-In Cinema is the experience we all want but rarely (if ever) get to have. With Ireland's unpredictable weather we unfortunately don't have a year-round outdoor cinema so we LOVE when a rare, temporary drive-in pops up. And guess what? One is popping up at the May the 4th Be With You festival. This drive-in will be screening Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi in Malin Head and is sure to be a fantastic experience, so book those tickets here.
To find out the full list of events (there's LOADS), have a look at the Wild Atlantic Way website.
View this post on Instagram
If you're heading to Portmagee/Valentia, it's just off the N70 so an easy car ride there. If you're feeling peckish during the day, some great spots to eat are The Moorings (where you can also grab a bed for the night), or Smugglers Cafe, where they have some great seafood but also loads of other delicious options such as chicken, an avocado melt ciabatta (drool) or Mediterranean pasta if fish isn't your thing.
For Ballyferriter, you can take the N86 to Dingle and then it's just about a fifteen minute drive to Ballyferriter village along the R559. If you're a seafood fan, we suggest you head back into Dingle for food and try out the extremely popular Out of the Blue restaurant. If you're looking for a quick nibble closer to the action, grab a bite at the Louis Mulcahy Pottery café - they have lovely cakes and lunch options with plenty of veggie options too.
For the more northerly celebrations, Malin Head is the spot. It's about an hour drive from the N2 (that's the A5 in Northern Ireland). When the tummy starts to rumble you'd be mad not to head straight to Nancy's Barn, where there's tapas, pizza, seafood, and loads more options to suit everyone. Plus, they have a dessert menu to die for. (Think Knickerbocker Glories, hot waffles and ice-cream, and double hot chocolate fudge cake.) Seriously, get there quick. And just beside Nancy's Bar is the very lovely Strand Hotel, which is a perfect spot to park yourselves for a night or two.
With so many amazing activities to try out, stunning scenery, and loads of delicious eateries so close by, the May the 4th Be With You festival is a must-do for any Star Wars fan.
We suggest you clear your schedules pronto because we have a GOOD feeling about this.
Brought to you by Discover Ireland.