Fireworks launch Wexford Festival Opera
Thousands turn out on quay for fireworks to kick of 68th opera event
In time honoured tradition, the people of Wexford got wrapped up and made their way to the Wexford quayfront last Tuesday night for the annual fireworks display to signal the official opening of Wexford Festival Opera.
Now in it's 68th year, the festival creates an incomparable buzz around the town over the course of two weeks.
Thousands of people, young and old, made their way to the quay on Tuesday, jostling for the best position to see an impressive fireworks display. An extremely familiar face got the crowd going on the main stage this year. Legendary broadcaster and co-host of Winning Streak Marty Whelan was his usual energetic self as he got the ball rolling and warmed the crowd up ahead of the main event.
Mayor of Wexford George Lawlor spoke of how 'fireworks night' had become a part of Wexford's culture and something that everyone looked forward to.
'It was a terrific occasion,' Cllr Lawlor said. 'It was the usual special Wexford night and as always, the children were the centre of it. There was great excitement on the quay beforehand and it was a really spectacular fireworks display. It seems to get better every year and it really is a great credit to all those involved.'
Cllr Lawlor was also delighted to welcome the guest of honour Marty Whelan and his wife Maria to Wexford and he said that they 'really loved the occasion'.
Chairperson of Wexford Festival Opera Dr Mary Kelly also took the opportunity of the Lyric FM presenter's visit to express the festival's support for the radio station given the latest rumblings surrounding its future.
The feedback to this year's fireworks display has been fantastic and it was all eyes to the sky as huge plumes of colour took over the Wexford skyline and bangs and screams reverberated around the town.
For the guests of honour and speakers, they were whisked off to the National Opera House where they took their seat in the crowd for the opening show of this year's festival, Jules Massenet's 'Don Quichotte'. The fireworks on the quay were matched by fireworks onstage as a stellar cast performed the first production in a fantastic festival programme.