Throughout the year, beginning in April, a number of festivals abound in Baltimore that celebrate its’ local traditions, music, storytelling, and heritage.
First off from the 9th- 11th April there is the Baltimore Heritage Festival, a weekend festival starting on a Friday and ending on Sunday evening that highlights all that Baltimore has to offer. Depending on what you want, the Baltimore Heritage Festival offers a range of activities for everyone, young and old, from history buffs to adventurers. For those who want a chance to see traditional Irish and island crafts of a bygone era there are craft and heritage fairs on throughout Saturday and Sunday. For history buffs there are many guided historical and archaeological tours and seanachie (Irish storytellers) sessions recounting the tales of West Cork pirates. Alternatively for those who are more adventurous there are numerous sea and water related sports activities and tours to take part in. And after all of that for a chance to relax, eat, drink and enjoy the fun checkout the live music and entertainment available in the local pubs.
If you enjoyed the music on offer in that festival, the Baltimore Fiddle Fair in May (6th – 9th) offers a more in-depth look at traditional Irish music with a world class line-up of acts play in and around the village all day and throughout the evening.
The Baltimore Seafood & Wooden Boat Festival, the Baltimore Regatta and the Baltimore West Cork Sea-angling Festival all celebrate and revolve around the proud seafaring tradition that Baltimore possesses, with opportunities to witness traditional crafts and culture(Baltimore Seafood & Wooden Boat Festival), enjoy various water sports and sailing (Baltimore Regatta) and ethical fishing (Baltimore West Cork Sea-angling Festival) among other things.
As well as festivals in Baltimore there are numerous opportunities to travel to the islands (Sherkin Island and Cape Clear Island) where the Cape Clear Storytelling Festival is held from Sept 3rd to 5th.
And last but not least for one of the most intriguing festivals that highlights all that is unique about Baltimore is the O’Driscoll Clan & Midsummer Festival a festival that is devoted to the mighty O’Driscoll clan a name that is widely believed to have originated in this area. In this festival, people with this surname, from all around the world are encouraged to gather round for a huge family get together for 3 days in late June (25th -27th ) to celebrate the joys of belonging to the extended O’Driscoll clan. But while being an O’Driscoll is a bonus you don’t have to have that name to take part, as the festival also holds a range of activities and events for every one of all ages and names to enjoy.
Overall a holiday to Baltimore West Cork beginning in mid Spring and ending in mid Autumn holds a range of activities and festivities that celebrate everything that is fun and unique in Baltimore and highlight several long forgotten aspects of Irish society.