Portaferry is preparing for a four-day Sailing and Music and family fun festival which will be the biggest maritime event to come to Ards Peninsula since the very popular ‘Galway Hooker Festival’ of many years ago.
The event is being hosted by Portaferry Sailing Club and will centre around their Club House on the Shore Front. Events will spread out from the Club to all parts of the town ensuring plenty of family fun for everyone.
The Club is expecting boats from all over the lough and North Down, Scotland, England, Wales, Isle of Man & ROI and farther afield.
The boats will gather on Thursday and Friday for registration, race on Saturday the 22nd in Strangford Lough and have a final Parade of Sail on Sunday the 23rd.
The festival highlight is a unique opportunity for the public to engage on the water and to cruise the lough on the beautiful boat “Soteria” and for game of thrones fans an opportunity sail past the famous original filming ground of “Winterfell” not forgetting two game of thrones doors one in Strangford and one in Portaferry.
Other tours include guided walking tours and are available to book via www.ticketsource.co.uk/ardsandnorthdown
There will also be Skiff racing taster sessions and a very special Water Olympics with a twist, and if you fancy kayaking now’s your chance for a taster session with the Mobile team adventure (go to the website to book) for registration and other bookings events see programme via sails and sounds on facebook/website… don’t miss out!
To complement the sailing, there will be local food outlets promoting local produce food tasting and cooking demonstrations and even a chance to go foraging cook food from the water’s edge The visiting public will be entertained by traditional dancing from both our Irish and Scottish heritages and giving displays and competing at several open-air venues. Portaferry’s Bars and restaurants are also gearing up for the Festival with live music and special food menus to keep locals and visitors replenished.
The Festival committee will be providing crafts for kids, kite making, treasure trail even chance to find some Portaferry Rocks, art competitions, street entertainment, inflatables, face painters, and much, much, more. In addition, there will storytelling, dress -up and crafts at the Portaferry Library free open days at the RNLI and QUB.
MINESTO will be demonstrating their Deep Green energy project on Strangford lough our local, PAST Maritime Museum will be doing an Exhibition of 1000 years of ferry service which will complement the new project around the town “FERRY DOORS” and there will be photo opportunities in the ‘Pirate Photo Booth’ and there's a chance to meet Portaferry's very own Captain Jack Sparrow.
There will be information stands by the local groups and emergency services and opportunity to meet the big lottery community winners Ards Peninsula 1st Responders.
Theatre entertainment @ Portico’s “Anthony Toner” celebration of his new album “Our Lady of the Wind and Rain” Sails and Sounds Festival will have music from Scotland’s Box O Banana’s and Ireland's Hair o the Dog Irish traditional band and “Many of the owners and crew members of the boats are musicians themselves, so this is a double whammy for them”.
For all gin, vodka and whiskey lovers there is an afternoon of “Tastes of the Peninsula” all products from the local distillery Echlinville tickets £20 available Portaferry Sailing Club.
Look out for details of all events, locations and times to be published and distributed all over the province in the near future.
There are also trips aboard the Schooner ‘Soteria’ on Strangford Lough, Kayaking and walking tours
Special thanks goes to the Ards and North Down Borough Council & Dept for Communities for their supporting the festival This promises to be one of the highlights of the summer and will involve many volunteers and local business owners who will go out of their way to extend a welcome to all visitors whether they come by land or by sea.