President Michael D Higgins is to officially open the 2018 Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann in Drogheda this afternoon.

The annual cultural event is expected to attract hundreds of thousands of people to the town on the Louth/Meath border over the coming week.

Organisers say 30% of the expected 400,000 visitors are to travel from overseas, with €40m expected to flow into the local economy.

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The week-long event celebrates Irish tradition through music, song, dance and the Irish language.

Many of the country's leading traditional musicians, singers and dancers will take to stages around the town over the week, including Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill, Zoë Conway, Damien Dempsey, Pádraigín Ní Uallacháin, Sibéal Davitt and Gerry O'Connor.

Fleadh Cheoil Drogheda

There will also be classes throughout the week for a range of instruments, including the bodhrán, concertina, fiddle, flute, harp, accordion and uilleann pipes.

Much of Drogheda has been pedestrianised for the week and park and ride facilities have been set up to bring people in and out of the town.