#maritimefestival – The organisers of the John Barry Maritime Festival are expecting crowds of over 50,000 to visit Wexford in June. The second John Barry Maritime Festival, which is one of three Gathering flagship events, takes place this year from Thursday 20th until Sunday 23rd June in Wexford and promises to be bigger and better than the inaugural festival in 2012, which saw crowds of 35000 over the two day event.
The idea originated in January last year after a lifeboat visit to the Waterford Coast Guard Helicopter base. The three RNLI volunteers David Maguire, Frank O Brien and Lorraine Galvin were discussing plans to celebrate Wexford Lifeboat Station 10 year anniversary. "..ideas for fun on the quay developed into an idea for a maritime festival" says Lorraine, " with maritime activities, races, childrens activities, live music and entertainment, exhibitions, cultural events and the hugely successful Wexford food familys food village". It was wonderful to see so many children on the quay enjoying kayaking and boating, arts and crafts, science experiments, the funfair and my own little toddler dancing away at the Kindermusik sessions".
As well as family fun, the festival also celebrates Wexford man Commodore John Barry, father of the US Navy. In September last year the festival directors invited over two US Navy Rear Admirals to Wexford and discussed plans for this years festival and forming links with the US Navy. "...The Rear Admirals had great admiration for John Barry and were very interested in learning more of his heritage and home town told by historian Bernard Brown" said Frank O Brien.
David Maguire saif that the festival success was down to great community support and invovlement.." Wexford has such a great maritime heritage and we want to show it off, we are working with great local groups and the best of Wexford food producers, it will be a real Wexford showcase".
The three have been busy already securing the festival as a flagship gathering event and are actively inviting international visitors to Wexford for the festival. "There are so many wonderful events in the planning, Wexford Quay is such an amazing amphitheatre for a festival and what better view than Wexford Harbour!" The festival is non profit organisation with fundraising proceeds towards Wexford RNLI Lifeboat. Any interested groups are invited to contact the team at [email protected] or through the website www.jbmf.ie