Killarney Races: July Festival
The Killarney Races are returning to the Killarney Racecourse next month for 2014’s July Festival. The July Festival is the centre-piece of the races’ summer calendar and features the most prestigious races as well as the most glamourous events. The Killarney Racecourse is arguably Ireland’s most scenic racecourse as it is nestled snugly below Killarney’s famous mountains not too far from Ross Castle.
The July Festival is a four day event and kicks off on Monday the 14th of July and lasts until Thursday the 17th. As I mentioned above it is the main event in the racing calendar in Killarney and as such attracts the biggest crowds and most avid punters. The first evening of the festival is the family evening and will see a dedicated kids zone on offer for children of all ages. There’ll be bouncy castles, face painting, puppet shows and magic shows. Tuesday and Wednesday sees the festival knuckle down to serious business and among the races taking place on those days include the Christy McSweeney Memorial Novice Steeplechase which has a prize fund of €15,500 and the Killarney Handicap Hurdle which has a prize fund of €23,500. The highlight of the festival is Thursday however as it is Ladies Day. The July Ladies Day is legendary and attracts gargantuan crowds of fashion savvy women. Host of The Voice of Ireland and No Frontiers Kathryn Thomas and reigning Rose of Tralee Haley O’Sullivan will be on hand to measure the sartorial credentials of each lady and the one they deem to be the best dressed will win a 5 Star trip to Paris, France while the lady with the best hat will win a 5 star trip to Milan, Italy. Not too shabby those two prizes, are they?
So there’s something for everyone. Fingers crossed the sun has the courtesy to show his face and then you’ll be in for a real treat. Tickets for Monday and Tuesday’s meetings cost €15 while Wednesday and Thursday are €20. There is concessions for OAPs and students while children under 16 can enter free of charge. You are advised to arrive at the racecourse early as big crowds are expected, particularly on Ladies Day. For any more information you may need check out http://killarneyraces.ie/.