#WEXFORD MARITIME FESTIVAL - The John Barry Maritime Festival as previously reported is to take place on the weekend of 23-24 June where a packed festival programme outlines various activities and events, writes Jehan Ashmore.
As the festival is named after the Wexford-born Commodore John Barry, the father of the US Navy, there will be a contingent representing the navy who are to visit the festival. At the end of the festival one of the highlights will be the annual John Barry Memorial Ceremony. This is to be officiated by Major of Wexford Davy Hynes and attended by international dignitaries.
Throughout the festive weekend, the coastal town which is synonymous with its fleet of colourful dredging trawlers lining the quays will celebrate its rich maritime culture and heritage.
Wexford Harbour will be a visual array of boats and an air-sea rescue display by the Irish Coastguard (noting new SAR helicopter) and RNLI lifeboat and Naval Service. Also on hand will be the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group which will have a stand and Met Eireann will also be on the quay providing information and demonstrations to the public on marine safety.
Among the events to be staged is a rowing regatta of traditional sailing cots to modern fibre glass rowing boats, sea kayaking, canoeing, sailing and raft races on view from Wexford Quay marina.
In addition a 26,000 sq ft exhibition centre will house over 100 handcrafted model boats. There will be exhibitions about John Barry, the Titanic and an interactive media exhibition of maritime activities and local artists and photographers.
There will be entertainment in the form of traditional Irish music, dance groups, evening music on the Saturday and Wexford traders will be showcasing local produce on the quay. To consult the festival programme including fringe events visit www.johnbarrymaritimefestival.com