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Delight in Killorglin as K-Fest makes its long-awaited return

Killorglin was well and truly a buzzing hive of activity this past weekend – and not just for the bank holiday weekend and easing of some COVID restrictions mind you – as the popular K-FEST weekend made its long awaited return to the town.

or those of you not familiar with what K-FEST is all about, it was started back in 2013 and since then, the arts-centric event has grown and grown in popularity and which, up until 2020 and COVID hitting anyway, saw thousands of locals and tourists alike flocking to the town every June bank holiday to have the craic.

The event was pushed back to October this year and speaking to one of the organisers of the weekend, K-FEST committee chairman Tim Clifford, it sounds like this decision has paid off in spades as he reflected on a great and long awaited weekend.

“It was great to be back and it was great to see people out and enjoying themselves again and of course to see them visiting and engaging with all the artists and seeing their work too, it was wonderful. People were just enjoying the experience of being able to do all these types of things again and it was fantastic for us to be able to host things like this again because it’s been a long time since the last K-FEST,” said Tim/

“We’ve missed the arts community a lot. It’s been two-and-a-half years since the last festival and it’s just really wonderful and great to be back. The whole festival was a highlight. I couldn’t pick out one specific thing over the other, everything was brilliant,” he continued.

Whether it was poetry readings, pop up art galleries, art demonstrations, secret drive-in movies for the kids, drum dancing, live music from some wonderful bands or just sitting and listening to stories about Killorglin itself, there really was something for everyone to enjoy.

One Tralee man who certainly enjoyed the weekend was painter James Hayes who was named as winner of K-FEST’s ‘Screaming Pope’ prize. The award is is K-FEST’s very own unique visual arts award and includes a cash prize of €1,000.

A panel of judges comprising of acclaimed artists and critics selects the Screaming Pope Prize winner every year.

Speaking to The Kerryman about his win, James was understandably thrilled.

“It’s really filling creatively, especially for the year that’s been in it. To be able to show your work and get feedback from people on it and have those conversations, it’s been brilliant. It’ll keep me going and filled up creatively for another year,” said James. 

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