Home / Festivals Celebrated in County Antrim


Beer lovers can be a part of Belfast Beer festival. It is organized annually in November for 3 days. During this festival, there is authentic Irish beer which comes straight from the local breweries. This beer is available for tasting. There is also live music played by artists.

Belfast Pride festival is recognized as LGBT (gay) festival and has been gaining popularity amongst the masses over the past few years. It is organized every year between July and August. During the festival the ambience is filled with joy and celebrations. There are parades, programmes, workshops, theatre, sports activities, debate sessions and performances at the festival. This event is organized to create awareness and for acceptance of LGBT community. It also stands for bringing gay community at par with others. Belfast Pride is being held for 25 years.

Rathlin Sound Maritime festival is an annual event in Ballycastle, Antrim. This festival is organized between May and June for around 9 days. The festival highlights the rich maritime history of Ballycastle and that of Rathlin Island. The festival derives its name after Rathlin sound, a water-body separating Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. One can indulge in activities like boating, sailing races, live music, seafood cuisines, kayaking and surfing, fishing, guided walking tours, Rathlin sunset cruise, activities for kids and much more.

Bushmills Salmon and Whiskey festival is a local festival celebrated in Bushmills town in County Antrim. It is an annual event and is organized for 2 days. Festive mood is spread across the town with street performances, local whiskey tasting, live music, tour of salmon fishery station, etc. The festival celebrates the town’s two local produce, salmon and whiskey. Also seen are food demos and stalls where artists display their work. One gets to know about the culture and heritage of the town through the festival.

Larne Summer festival is an annual event that takes places in County Antrim. The festival is organized for a week in June. This festival has been organized for a few years now. It begins with a carnival parade. The parade participants are school children, local groups and clubs. Apart from this, there is live music, entertainment and sports activities, food stalls and markets, street theatre, dance workshops and much more. It is a festival for people belonging to all age groups.

River to Lough is a fairly popular festival organized in County Antrim. It is organized annually in July and it celebrates the local heritage of the Lough Neagh. This lake is primarily known for its fishing activities. Eel found in the lake is a favourite delicacy. Eel is the highlight of the festival. At the festival, dishes are cooked using eel. There are also cooking demonstrations, arts and craft stalls and traditional local displays. This festival has been organized for 3 years and takes place at Antrim Castle Gardens.

Belfast Carnival Village is another interesting festival celebrated in Northern Ireland. It is organized in June and takes place at the Ormean Park. The festival includes carnival arts, food and drinks stalls, street performances, entertainment, performances by musicians, walkabout entertainment, puppet shows, etc. The Carnival Village is decorated with replicas of important places in Belfast like City Hall, Albert clock, etc. The event is managed and organized by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Belfast city Council.

Irish Game Fair and Fine Food festival is an annual event. It is organized in County Antrim in June. This 2 days festival is considered to be the largest game fair held in Northern Ireland. The event is organized at Shane’s Castle estate. Sports enthusiasts will be excited by the variety of games organized for people to participate. These games are in the form of competitions and prizes are awarded to winners. Fine Food festival includes tasting of local food at stalls. This fair and festival is a unique family oriented event and attracts public in large numbers. This event highlights the rural lifestyle of the people.

Auld Lammas Fair is extremely popular in Northern Ireland. It is a traditional fair that is organized in Ballycastle, County Antrim since as early as from 17th century. It is held annually in August and more particularly, on the last Monday and Tuesday of August. ‘Lammas’ word translates to mean ‘beginning of the harvest’. At this fair, different stalls are set up for sale of almost everything that one can buy from clothes to household items, food, etc. Even farm animals are brought here for selling. Then there are craft stalls and carnival street entertainment activities. Live music played at the fair lifts the mood of the crowd. There is a tradition of selling ‘Yellow Man’ which is a type of honeycomb. Also traditionally sold is ‘dube’, a type of red seaweed.

Belfast Film Festival is being organized for over 20 years since the 1st event took place in 1995. It is organized in April and goes on for 10 days. The festival through its programmes encourages and promotes budding film makers. This festival is an excellent forum to obtain all the knowledge, education and film making techniques. During the festival, there is screening of films made by the participants. These participants come from all over the world. Short films and documentaries are also screened at the festival.

Ballymena Arts festival is a popular festival organized in March and April for around 20 days. This is an annual festival that is being held for more than 5 years now in the Braids Centre. During the course of the festival many programmes are arranges that include dance, music, comedy, theatre, performing poetry, etc. This festival is an excellent opportunity for young talented performers to showcase their talent in front of popular and well established performing artists in this field.

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