Presented by the Polish port city of Szczecin and organised by Sail Training International, the festival in Dublin's Docklands aims to top last year's celebrations in Waterford and will see the city come alive with a spectacular atmosphere both on and off the water.
Some of the 40 magnificent Tall Ships - such as the barque STS Pogoria – have already begun to arrive in Dublin Port at the end of the prestigious international race and will line the North and South of the River Liffey as the centerpiece of the four-day free festival.
Along with Waterways Ireland's programme at Grand Canal Dock as previously reported on Afloat.ie, organisers Dublin City Council and the Dublin Port Company have scheduled an impressive series of events to herald the arrival of the fleet that will cater for all tastes and ages and will showcase Dublin at its very best.
And don't forget you can catch all the sights on the Allianz All-Aboard Liffey Cruise, with seats available for just €1!
The highlight of the weekend is bound to be the stunning Parade of Sail as the ships depart the capital on Sunday 26 August from 11am.
Friday afternoon will also see thousands of Tall Ships crew members from all four corners of the globe march up Dublin’s north quays from Point Village for what promises to be a vibrant, colourful spectacle to kick off the weekend, finishing at The Custom House for a special prize giving ceremony with musical accompaniment from the the Garda Band, the Tallaght Youth Band and the Army No 1 Band.
Also taking place is a series of maritime-themed readings and talks in various locations, including a barge, which will celebrate the history and some of the personal tales from Dublin’s Docklands.
Celebrated writers and historians such as Peter Sheridan, Theo Dorgan, Anne Chambers, Turtle Bunbury and the local Dockers Preservation Society will regale their audiences with tales of Dublin City, its port, their sailing experiences, excerpts from their books. See www.dublintallships.ie for times and e-mail your name and title of talk to [email protected] to be placed on the guest list - first come, first served.
Complementing the maritime element, the festival will feature 55 music acts over the four days including the Undertones, Ash and Therapy? at the Bulmers Live Music Dock at George’s Dock. And the entertainment continues into the evening with an open-air floating cinema showing classics such as Jaws and The Life Aquatic.
More than 100 performance acts from trapeze artists to wake boarding will wow the crowds on both sides of the river each afternoon, not to mention food and craft markets, walking literary tours and a funfair.
On the south quays, Grand Canal Dock will host a family zone, while Hanover Quay will come alive with skateboarding, parkour, beatboxing and music with the spectacular Kings of Concrete. Visitors can also try their hand at cable kayaking, pedalo boats, wakeboarding and crazy golf on a pontoon at Grand Canal Dock with Waterways Ireland and Surf Dock.
On the other side, food demonstrations from some of Ireland’s leading chefs will take place at the Theatre of Food in Linear Park. And the Festival Hub at CHQ will have a more relaxed atmosphere with a beautiful black and white photography exhibition from the Dublin Docklands Preservation Society, a range of workshops including yoga and 'upcycling' an and exhibition of Viking Dublin in the vaults.
Full details of events and how to get to the Tall Ships Races Festival can be found at www.dublintallships.ie. Gardaí are appealing for visitors to use public transport into the city due to a number of road closures, and have warned that anti-social behaviour including pubic drinking will not be tolerated.