Friday 22 November 2019

Maritime Festival brings huge crowds out to the quayside

The Stacey Clan enjoying the festivities
The Stacey Clan enjoying the festivities
Millie O’Sullivan and David Martin

Pádraig Byrne

Huge crowds basked in the summer sunshine on Wexford's quayfront as the 2019 Wexford Maritime Festival set sail.

Now in its eighth year, the festival has grown massively in stature over the years and this year organisers estimate that somewhere in the region of 35,000 people were in attendance and was worth around €2.6 million to the local economy.

'It was brilliant,' said organiser Lorraine Galvin. 'Using Bord Fáilte's calculator we reckon the whole weekend was worth €2.6m to the economy. All of the hotels were booked out and there was no space in the camp-sites or anything. It's amazing.'

Lorraine says that the festival gets great support from across the Irish sea also, with a lot of maritime enthusiasts, model collectors and vessels making the journey across specifically to attend the festival. Among the highlights of the weekend were the appearance of a tall ship in the harbour, which people were allowed to take a look around. The emergency services demonstrations also proved popular and kids and adults alike were drawn to the Garda mounted division with two beautiful horses on show.

The stunt air show also drew a massive crowd and provided a few edge of the seat moments. 'I think that was nerve-wracking for everyone there,' laughed Lorraine. 'The whole thing went really well and the weather was excellent. I think people were happy with the amount of stuff on the quay and there really was something for everyone. We had great entertainment on the main stage. A great amount of goodwill has been built up over the years with the groups and the emergency services and everyone involved. There's a real community spirit to it. We also get a lot of support from Wexford County Council which makes a huge difference.'

Wexford People

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