The annual Trim Haymaking Festival in the heritage town of Trim, Co. Meath is a fun-packed day to promote the cultural history of rural Ireland through traditional song, dance, quirky games and pastimes.

The festival began in 1968 with a group called the Scurlogstown Olympiad whose aim is to preserve Ireland’s sense of identity. “This will be most successfully done by carefully fostering our cultural heritage, and we have not hesitated to go back even to the Fianna for our inspiration. By calling our organization an Olympiad we are forging a link with the ancient Tailteann Games held at Teltown, Co. Meath in honor of Queen Tailte. These games were the forerunner of the modern Olympic Games.”

“The Old Irish Village was a hive of industry and craft work displays and tales and stories of old Irish folklore, yarns and poetry,” said PR Officer John Marron of the past festival.

“The three stages that were set up made sure that the traditional Irish musicians had the place buzzing with with Jigs and reels, set and Sean-nos dancing.

“Michael Flatley himself would not have stood a chance against the many groups of dancers that entertained the excess of 5,000 people in attendance.”

People come from all over the world to join the festivities, which take place in an old village of thatched cottages on by the medieval Trim Castle on the south bank of the Boyne River, where Braveheart was filmed.

“What a wonderful day it was at the Festival in the Porchfield Trim. It was great to see the joy and delight on the faces of all present from babies to pensioners as they either took part or just looked on as the massive program of events unfolded.”

Games include the notorious Donkey Derby Races and Scythe Cutting Championships, and attractions include the Haycocking machine and displays of vintage tractors.

Check out the festival’s website, with a countdown until the next Trim Haymaking Festival.