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Displaying items by tag: Maritime Festival

Drogheda Harbourmaster Capt. Martin Donnelly previews this year's maritime festival for Afloat readers.

The Irish Maritime Festival, in association with Maxol, is going from strength to strength. The festival, hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company, takes place at the Port next weekend (Saturday 9 and Sunday 10th July) and promises something fun for everyone.

ON THE WATER
Drogheda has a rich Maritime Heritage and the festival celebrates all that is good about the majestic river Boyne. The quayside is lined with ships of all sorts including The Spirit of Oysterhaven, the Celtic Mist, vintage lifeboats and customs cutters. There is an opportunity, when the tide is high, to board to these ships and to imagine what life is like on the high seas.

Weather permitting, Drogheda will welcome the truly beautiful 112ft long twin-masted Brigantine “The Phoenix”. The 4,000sq. ft. of sail, is instantly recognisable to movie lovers as “The Sancta Maria” from the epic film "1492: Conquest of Paradise", the fictionalised story of Christopher Columbus directed by Ridley.

The Spirit of Oysterhaven will arrive on Friday with a complete crew of trainees and depart with a new trainee crew again on Sunday.

A series of river races will take place including the 14 km long Inver Colpa Rowing Race from Clogherhead to Drogheda, the Howth to Drogheda yacht challenge and the legendary Drogheda Raft Race. Perhaps the most gruelling and personally challenging of all the races is the Boyne Swim, where 200+ swimmers of all ages will take to the river for the 2.5 km past the festival site. This year, the Boyne Swim welcomes a delegation of 25 swimmers who have travelled from Finland just to take part.

One of the festival innovations for 2016 is the addition of live cameras to track the activities on the river. A combination of steady cam and drone footage will be fed to a big screen broadcasting live on the festival site. You will also be able to see the on the water action by tuning in to the Irish Maritime Festival Facebook page where the final stages of all races will be broadcast live.

New for 2016 is the arrival of The Vikings. Watch out for a 45 strong marauding hoard as they take over Drogheda Port and go into battle twice daily. They'll take over and set up their Viking Village and giving visitors to the festival an idea what it's like to live like a Viking. Watch out for their two Viking ships docked at the festival site.

And no Maritime Festival in Drogheda would be complete without the return of our battling pirates. The S/V Vilma and Soteria will once again bring with them the ever popular duelling and duetting pirates who provide fun for visitors of all ages.

And keep your eyes peeled you might just see Captain Jack Sparrow leading the pirate parade.

Speaking of spectacles, keep your eye on the sky - there might just be a surprise in store.

And There’s Lots Happening On-Shore Too …
The festival grows bigger each year and Festival Producer Karen Healy explains "We're trying to grow and diversify the festival each year to ensure that there are new, interesting and exciting activities for all our visitors. We hope that the mix we have created this year will have something for everybody visiting the festival. The festival boasts a fashion, health and beauty zone with fashion shows, make up demos and celebrity bloggers James Patrice and The Make Up Fairy. An artisan food and craft brewing will feature local producers, cookery showcases, brewing and cocktail making lessons. Live music is a huge part of the 2016 festival. There will be 2 live music stages featuring a selection of Ireland's top up and coming artists. Visitors to the festival can chill out and relax in the summer sunshine and listen to these fabulous musicians as they give it their all on stage.”

The family friendly activities are, as always, fun for all.

“And the festival is not just for the grown-ups and teens” continues Festival Director Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council “There is of course a whole host of fun and family friendly activities at the Festival again this year. Kids can join the pirate parade, visit the Viking Village, touch the sea creatures in the marine touch pool, build their own paper boats, laugh at Punch and Judy and marvel at the magic show. They can take part in free art workshops, learn to be an archaeologist in the kids archaeology zone, take a selfie on Simple Simon's throne, build sandcastles on the urban beach, visit the whale and dolphin workshops and watch out for the fly borders on the river. And of course, there is a fantastic funfair to top it all off.

"So that's it, that's our line-up for this year and we hope to welcome both locals and visitors alike to Drogheda port for a wonderful weekend of fun" concludes Mary T Daly. "The festival runs on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th of July at Drogheda Port. Admission for a family is just €10 for the day and that includes two adults and two children. There are special prices for teens, students and senior citizens. You can find out more about the festival by visiting www.MaritimeFestival.ie and, on behalf of Louth County Council, we do hope that you will invite friends and family across the country and invite them to join you in Drogheda for a fabulous fun filled weekend."

Published in Maritime Festivals

Primary schools across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area are being invited to take part in an exciting free education outreach programme that will allow them to explore their maritime heritage through an innovative and interactive programme entitled: “DuPont Float Your Boat.”

The education programme is being run by the Derry City and Strabane District Council in partnership with DuPont ahead of the forthcoming Foyle Maritime Festival that is taking place from 09-17 July when the Clipper Round the World Race yachts will make a welcome return to the city for a fun filled festival of fun and celebration.
The education programme will be delivered by Footsteps Interpretation and is being held alongside a competition encouraging students to design their own model boat and be in with a chance of their design being exhibited during the Maritime Festival in July.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Cllr Elisha McCallion says the education programme is a fantastic way of getting primary school children from across the city and district involved in the festival and encouraging them to explore and appreciate their local environment and their close proximity to maritime heritage.
“What I really like about this education programme is that it is all about fun and getting the children involved in a way that encourages them to take a real interest in the topics covered. It is very interactive and creative and encourages them to use their imagination and come up with creative ideas and concepts. I am delighted that we have DuPont on board as our main sponsor for the festival and look forward to working with them on the festival,” she said.
Paul Kirkpatrick, Organisation Manager, DuPont, said: “We’re so pleased to be working with the Derry City and Strabane District Council to deliver a fun, engaging and free education programme to primary school children from across Derry~Londonderry. As a company, we regularly reach out to schools, offering prizes for STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) related tasks as well as creating our own competitions, so we are constantly engaging with young minds and hopefully inspiring them to take more of an interest in engineering.
“At DuPont we make Kevlar® which is extraordinarily strong, lightweight and on an equal-weight basis, five times stronger than steel. It is best known for its use in protective garments but it can also be found in ships’ hulls and we’ll all get a chance to see many of those when the Foyle Maritime Festival kicks off.”
Margaret Edwards, Education Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council explained that the DuPont Float Your Boat scheme covers a number of areas to ensure the children get a good overview.
“Among the themes of the education project is Maritime Heritage, where the children will be encouraged to discover about the region’s maritime past, get the chance to meet with 18th century ship builder characters to hear stories of ship building, the port and navigation. Under the Environment Significance of the Region theme, the children will find out more about the environmental importance of Lough Foyle and its surrounding rivers and discover how some animals use internal navigation to travel great distances to return to their local environment. And as part of the Clipper Round the World Race theme they will hear at first-hand about life on board a Clipper yacht,” she said.
She added that the education programme meets a number of learning areas and skills for both the NI and RoI curriculum and features a learning pack for teachers.
The students are also being encouraged to participate in a competition to build their own model boat using recyclable materials. The top three designs will receive an individual prize and will be on display alongside six highly commended designs during the Foyle Maritime Festival in July.
Full details of the Foyle Maritime Festival are to be launched at the end of April.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#droghedamaritime – The third annual Irish Maritime Festival took over Drogheda last weekend. The flotilla of ships sailed into Drogheda on Friday afternoon and from that moment on the sun shone. The Festival, hosted by Louth County Council and Drogheda Port Company, saw over 40,000 visitors come through the gates and enjoy all the fun.

"The 2015 Irish Maritime Festival was bigger and better than ever before. Our aim is to grow the Festival to become recognised on the national calendar of events and this year moved us ever closer to that aim." explained Mary T. Daly of Louth County Council "Working with Drogheda Port Company, we bring the structure and the organisation but the local community bring the personality, fun and action. It was just brilliant to see so many community groups involved in making the Festival such a success."

Speaking about the action on, in and above the water Chair of Drogheda Port Company Denis Moynihan continued "The Festival featured a number of epic battles including the Boyne Swim, The Boyne Boat Race, Howth-Drogheda Yacht Race, the Battle Over The Boyne Tug of War and The East Coast Chowder Championship. We were delighted to welcome athletes and vessels from all over the country to compete here at the Festival. The victories were hard won and well done to one and all."

All weekend the kids laughed, the pirates battled, the chefs cooked and the huge ferris wheel spun.

Karen Healy, event organiser continued "There was a wonderful atmosphere all weekend. We loved seeing so many visitors from near and far enjoying all that Drogheda has to offer. The music stages were a huge hit with bands, singers and dancers from all over the North East creating a soundtrack for the Festival. The beautiful ships were the focal point and, as always, the pirates brought action and adventure to the water."

The Irish Maritime Festival, in association with Maxol, is a massive undertaking but the outcome of all the plans was a fun, lively festival that was enjoyed by so many. "The support of sponsors, both local and national, is of vital importance in helping us grow The Irish Maritime Festival. We are so grateful to sponsors, media and event partners who helped us to deliver this huge event. And of course, the event wouldn't exist without the support of the public who make all the months of planning and hard work so worthwhile. Roll on The Irish Maritime Festival 2016 ..." concluded Louth County Council's Mary T. Daly.

Arrival_of_the_Morgenster.jpg

Arrival of the Morgenster

Arrival_of_the_RNLI.jpg

Arrival of the RNLI

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Boats on the Boyne

Duetting_Pirates.jpg

Dueting Pirates

Iron_Man_in_Action.jpg

Iron Man in Action

Piper_leads_Sailors_to_Maritime_Blessing_in_St._Peters.jpg

Piper leads Sailors to Maritime Blessing in St. Peters

Wakeboarders_-_A_Pair_in_Action.jpg

Wakeboarders

Published in Maritime Festivals

#rathlinisland – It's anchors aweigh as Northern Ireland's leading maritime festival, the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, was launched by the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan, last Friday.

Organised by the Council Harbour & Tourism Section, Ballycastle Community Development Group, the Rathlin Development & Community Association, and the Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce and Industry and sponsored by the Tourism Northern Ireland, Malin Waters, Fair Head Tidal, and Rathlin Island Boat House there will be something for land and sea lovers, with sailing, historic and modern craft, demonstrations, exhibitions and guided walks, seafood themed markets as well as great music and entertainment.

Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Michelle Knight-McQuillan said, "Last year's festival was a huge success and we are looking to build upon that this year. We wanted to have even more for all the family at this year's festival! Once again, we are really looking forward to welcoming visitors to Rathlin Island and Ballycastle. The beauty of the Causeway Coast and Glens is renowned the world over and the Rathlin Sound is a hidden gem that is ready to be discovered."

Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Causeway Coast and Glens, said "The Festival is celebrating its third year now and promises to be awash with activities for all the family, with this year promising to be the biggest and best yet!

"Dad will be distracted by the Bushmills Whiskey Tasting whilst mum inspects the delights on offer at Ballycastle Market. All the while, the two kids can dress up as Vikings before taking on Finn McCool and his wife Oonagh who have been interrupted by their arch enemy, Benandonner!

"With everyone else preoccupied, Grandad signed up to a power-boating lesson whilst Granny is on a fishing trip on the Lord Moyle!"

The celebration is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle on the spectacular north coast of Ireland, right in the heart of the Causeway Coast and Glens. Kicking off on Friday 22nd May, the opening weekend will feature a fancy dress parade followed by the uniquely traditional blessing of the boats at the Marina in Ballycastle.

"Over the course of the week we will be celebrating our passion for the sea, local culture, heritage and history, culminating in Rathlin's 'Big Lunch', music from 'Runabay' and our 'Living Seas' event on the 31st May. We look forward to visitors arriving by boat, by car, bike and bus and cannot wait to share our little island and causeway coast with the world.

"The packed programme includes walking tours, boat trips; sports such as kayaking and dinghy sailing and both Ballycastle and Rathlin will definitely be 'sounding off' with a programme of traditional music including street entertainers competition open to everyone, traditional sessions in local pubs and hotels.

"The Ardglass Vikings will be docking in Ballycastle on Friday 29th May ahead of their epic battle with the Currachs and Drontheims on Saturday 30th May which could well continue into the next day! Come along on Friday to view the long boat as it arrives at Ballycastle Harbour before setting off for Rathlin".

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#maritimefestival – Beachgoers to Curracloe today enjoyed the spectacle of 'Two men in a boat' as the launch for Wexford Maritime Festival got underway. The Wexford Maritime Festival was established in 2012 to celebrate Wexford's rich maritime heritage and culture and has attracted over 50,000 each year making it one of the country's biggest maritime celebrations.

The festival takes place on Wexford Quay from June 27 to 29 and the organisers of this year's jam-packed programme are expecting large crowds of over 50,000. This festival honours the memory of the founder the US Navy Commodore John Barry in his hometown of Wexford - known in the U.S. as 'Father of the American Navy.

The annual Irish Marine Search and Rescue conference and exercise demonstration will take place during the festival with heads of all Irish rescue organisations including the Irish Coast Guard, RNLI, Navy, Air Corps, HSE, Garda Siochana, Civil Defence, Irish Mountain Rescue Association, Harbour authorities, Irish Cave Rescue organization and lifeguards attending their conference on Friday.

On Saturday a major air and sea rescue demonstration will take place in full view of Wexford quay commencing with a formation of the Air Corps Casa fixed wing aircraft and Air Corp Augusta Westland 139 helicopter and the new Irish Coast Guard S92 Rescue 117. A series of 5 rescue scenarios will be demonstrated including the dropping of a life-raft from the Casa aircraft and rescue by RNLI lifeboats plus a first aid evacuation off a boat by the HSE maritime ambulance response team who will winch to a deck of a fishing trawler by the air corps helicopter.

Festival Director, Lorraine Galvin explained the emergency services connection with the festival "The Wexford Maritime Festival is organised by local Wexford RNLI crew with special events to raise money for Wexford Lifeboats. This year we are remembering the 100th anniversary of the Mexico disaster with a special maritime display by Rosslare Maritime Museum and the largest gathering of rescue organisations on Wexford quay this year."

The free family fun festival with lots of great children's activities including science workshops, arts and Viking activities and a new kid's boat stage called after Commodore Barry's most prominent ship, the USS Alliance, will come alive on Wexford quay with kids discos and games. Great art and colouring competitions with the winners getting a trip in Rescue 117 helicopter!

Wexford Food Family are going bigger and better this year with more local producers, chef demonstrations and outdoor seating area in view of the main stage where County Wexfords best performers will play live all weekend. There's lots of great water fun and races with raft races, rowing and sailing, a try it dock to try kayaking, canoeing, water skiing and a free try a dive. The largest Irish and UK model boat and aircraft display across England and Ireland with a specially constructed pond for remote control driving.

Speaking at the launch, Director David Maguire stressed the great community involvement, "The Wexford Maritime Festival showcases the very best of Wexford's maritime activities and heritage along with great local food on an amazing setting overlooking Wexfords expansive harbour. More and more local groups are coming on board each year to show off what's great about Wexford."

With over 40 events, free activities and attractions, Wexford quay is the place to be

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#maritimefestival – There will be a number of maritime themed events at the 2014 West Cork Literary Festival in Bantry, Co. Cork which runs from Monday, July 7th to Friday, July 11th with many free events.

On Friday July 11th in Bantry Library Rose George, the winner of the 2013 Mountbatten Maritime Award for Best Literary Contribution, will give a free talk about her fascinating journey into the hidden world of shipping. Her pursuit of the shadowy truths behind the industry that brings us almost everything we eat, wear, and work with, took her across the globe. "Deep Sea and Foreign Going: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry that Brings You 90% of Everything" is essential reading for anyone curious about the complex systems behind our convenient modern world. She follows the routes travelled by mercantile and naval fleets, pirate gangs, and illegal floating factories.

Philip Hoare will read from his yearlong adventure through the world's oceans. "The Sea Inside" on Thursday, July 10th. In colourful prose and lively line drawings, he sets out to rediscover the sea and its islands, birds, and beasts. Starting at his home on the shores of Britain's Southampton Water and moving in ever widening circles—like the migration patterns of whales—Hoare explores London, the Isle of Wight, the Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania, and New Zealand. Philip, winner of the 2009 Samuel Johnson Prize for non-fiction, is a broadcaster and author, he wrote and presented the BBC Arena film, "The Hunt for Moby-Dick", and directed three films for BBC's Whale Night.

On Saturday, July 12th there will be a special event on Whiddy Island, starting with the ferry across we celebrate Bantry Bay, the sea beyond and the lore and poetry of West Cork. John Mack, author of "The Sea: A Cultural History" draws on histories, maritime archaeology, art history and great literature to provide an innovative account of the great blue yonder and his own love for Whiddy. Philip Hoare will read from "Leviathan or, The Whale" his award winning book and film, which is also the story of our own obsessions. Leanne O'Sullivan from the Beara Peninsula will read from her poetry collections "Cailleach, The Hag of Beara" and "The Mining Road". She is the recipient of The Rooney Ireland Chair of Poetry Bursary and Lawrence O'Shaughnessy Awards.

Of course, younger readers are looked after too with the interactive Monster Sea Doodle! Travel 50 leagues under the sea with Captain Olivia Golden, illustrator extraordinaire, and learn how to draw some of the creatures that tickle, wriggle and swim in the salt water off the Bantry coast. Monster Sea Doodle! Takes place on Tuesday, July 8th, in St Brendan's School Hall

Ben Okri, Jonathan Miller, Blake Morrison, Karen Joy Fowler and Jennifer Johnston are just some of the guests announced for the renowned West Cork Literary Festival this July. The West Cork Literary Festival runs from July 6th to 12th and is generously supported by The Arts Council, Cork County Library and Arts Service and Fáilte Ireland. Booking on www.westcorkliteraryfestival.ie, Telephone: 027 52788/9 

Published in Maritime Festivals

The second John Barry Maritime Festival had momentous maritime gathering events including the first visit since 1956 to John Barry's Homestead in Taccumshance by US visitors and the first visit by a Royal Navy vessel to Wexford Port since independence, which docked alongside Wexford quay for the weekend.

For many US visitors, the highlight was a unique visit to Commodore John Barrys homestead in Ballysampson, Taccumshane, Rosslare accompanied by historian Bernard Browne and festival director Frank O'Brien. The owners of Barrys homestead spent many weeks making the house and grounds beautiful for the visitors, who were thrilled to visit such a significant place. Among the visitors were members of the US Legion of retired Navy veterans, Annapolis City Council, tourism and business representatives.

Another momentous occasion was the visit of a Royal Navy vessel, the HMS Charger (P292), which is a P2000 Archer-class patrol vessel, just over 20 metres long and 5.8 metres wide and powered by two Rolls-Royce turbo engines. The ship is based at the Royal Naval Headquarters (Merseyside) in Liverpool and was commissioned in 1988. She has five full time RN crew, and sails with an RNR training officer and a maximum complement of 12 students. She is attached to the Liverpool University Royal Naval Unit. Once docked, the crew helped out with the running of the festival, including putting up flags on Saturday morning and participating in a raft race (won by Kilmore RNLI Lifeboat)

Another visiting vessel of interest was the Celtic Mist, originally owned by the late Taoiseach Charlie Haughey, he used her extensively around the Southwest coast for entertainment and to travel to and from his private island in the Blaskets. She was donated by the Haughey family to the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group in 2011. IWDG intends to encourage schools and young people to visit the yacht to learn about Cetaceans and the rich marine life in Ireland and to promote marine conservation. The Celtic Mist is equipped with Acoustic marine monitoring equipment to enable scientists, students and members to learn more about the distribution, abundance, movements and behaviour of whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks.

The Revenue Customs Cutter Faire again paid a visit to Wexford this year. The Faire (pronounced Fara) monitors the coastline fopr suspicious activity and routinely searches suspicious vessels. "Ralph", Rosslare Customs sniffer dog also paid a visit on Saturday and demonstrated his drug and money sniffing skills!

All fundraising efforts over the weekend were in aid of Wexford RNLI lifeboat and the festival had a strong RNLI presence with the visit of a RNLI Trent class lifeboat The Trent Class lifeboat is one of five classes of all-weather lifeboat (Tamar, Severn, Trent, Tyne and Mersey) in the RNLI fleet. The boat docked in Wexford during the festival is one of the relief fleet, used at a station when their own boat is away for maintenance or repair. The Trent class lifeboat lies afloat, either at deep-water moorings or at a berth. Developed by the RNLI in the early 1990s, the first Trent class lifeboat was introduced in 1994 at Ramsgate, with a maximum speed of 25 knots, propeller protection and a range of 250 nautical miles.As an all-weather lifeboat, the Trent class can operate safely in all weathers and is inherently self-righting. She is designed to lie afloat and was last built in 2003. The public also got to see a real life rescue on Saturday by Wexford RNLI lifeboat and the Coast Guard rescue helicopter just before the search and rescue demonstration was to begin.

The weekend saw over 42000 people visit Wexford quay for maritime activities, childrens fun, live music, food offerings from Wexford Food Family and heritage and cultural events including Irelands largest model boat exhibition. A specific maritime heritage and cultural trail brought special attention to Wexfords rich heritage and culture including a talk by Jack O'Leary on Wexfords ships which are named at each bollard on Wexford quay, a photographic exhibition on JFKs visit in 1963, Commodore John Barrys statue dedication in 1956 and old Wexford town from the Scanlon and O'Connor archives, a short documentary on JFK and John Barry and an interactive maritime exhibition. Spectacle highlights were the Flyboarder and the helicopter flyby.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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#FoynesFestival – This year's Foynes Irish Coffee Festival takes place this coming Bank Holiday weekend (31 May-2 June), writes Jehan Ashmore.

The history of the 'Irish' Coffee which started 70 years can trace its origins back to the flying boats that flew across the Atlantic. It was along the banks of the Shannon Estuary that the Irish Coffee was invented as a unique treat to visitors during their en-route stopover between the continents.

The highlight of the festival will culminate on the final day (Sunday 2 June) when the Powers Irish Coffee Making Championship Final 2013 takes place at Foynes Flying Boat Museum.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the same venue in March opened a new Maritime Museum charting the history and role of shipping along the Shannon from the mouth of the estuary to Limerick Docks.

On the Saturday and Sunday are the Munster Mermaid Championships at the Foynes Yacht Club from where RIB tours will run into the estuary as part of the festival. In addition public tours of the Naval Service CPV L.E. Ciara (P41) are available during the weekend.

In addition to nautical events, the three-day festival includes other activities for all the family, visit the festival website for details of times of the full programme.

 

Published in Maritime Festivals

#FreeSailing - Ocean Youth Trust Ireland - funded by Belfast City Council are offering 'free' sailing and only as part of the Belfast Maritime Festival held over the Bank Holiday weekend (25-27 May).

The sailing is available only on the Sunday 26th and Monday 27th. Sail alongside the Tall Ships under the shadow of the Titanic Building. Suitable for 12 years upwards - to book - Call 0751 852 6109 or E: [email protected]                  

Published in Maritime Festivals

#lifeboat – As part of the Dublin Bay Prawn Maritime Festival in Howth, North Dublin a Prawn Push in aid of Howth RNLI will take place on Saturday 27th April at 3pm in Howth.

Teams of three wearing maritime themed fancy-dress will take part. One member of the team will push another team-member in a pram or wheelbarrow. The other team-member will have the task of passing around a collection bucket until its weight matches the weight of a kilo of prawns.

The route will start at the Top House Pub in Howth village, via Church Street to Findlater's Pub and back to the children's playground near the east Pier. Rehydration stations will be set up along the route where competitors will have to down a drink as fast as they can. Prizes awarded will include winners of the race and best fancy-dress. Prize-giving will take place at the Festival Marquee immediately after the race.

Teams can be from pubs, clubs or groups. All participants must be over 16 years of age. Teams must supply their own prams or wheelbarrows. Entries and enquiries can be made to Eddie Caffrey on 086 832 0786 or by email to  [email protected] .

'Funds raised by the Lifeboat Prawn Push will ensure that our volunteer lifeboat crews go to sea with the best equipment available to ensure their safety when saving lives at sea' said Rose Michael, Howth RNLI Fundraising Chairperson.

Published in Maritime Festivals
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