Killarney's four-day races in mid-July, featuring entertainment for all the family and live music, have a festival atmosphere. Indeed, they are part of the Killarney Summerfest, which also hosts outdoor theatre and concerts, hot-air ballooning, art exhibitions and children's events.
Racing - both national hunt and flat - takes place over three evenings, beginning just before 6pm, and the final day is devoted to fashion and a spa marquee. Thursday is traditionally 'Ladies' Day' on which the best-dressed lady at the festival is selected from the crowd and presented with a prize and crowned Festival Queen.
The Summer Races began in 1947 and attract many famous faces. Killarney Racecourse, which dates back more than 175 years (70 at its current location), is seen by many as one of the world's most picturesque racecourses - Killarney and the nearby Ring of Kerry are well-known beauty spots, with stunning mountains, lakes and woods. The racecourse is on the banks of the Flesk River, a site frequented by the Fianna warriors more than two millennia ago.