The annual Irish Maritime Festival at Drogheda Port last weekend was a wonderful celebration of all things nautical.
The weekend started with a Parade of Sail on Friday afternoon. People lined the banks of the Boyne from Mornington to Drogheda Port to witness the arrival of over 30 different vessels.
From 3 French Minesweepers to 4 Tall Ships, from Tug Boats to Waters Wags and yachts to Lifeboats, the river was a blaze of colour and activity all weekend.
The event is hosted each year by Louth County Council in conjunction with Drogheda Port Company and proudly supported by Virgin Media.
Thousands of people flocked to Drogheda Port to explore all of the ships. Young and old, local and visitors delighted in the variety of vessels and all the different stories. 250+ brave swimmers participated in the 2018 Boyne Swim on Saturday. They were followed down the river by the elegant little Water Wags. The yachts raced into the Port later on, completing the final leg of Howth-Drogheda Yacht challenge.
On land guests enjoyed A Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East. Artisan food producers from across the region provided tastings of their wares and chatted to the public. Bands from across the country performed live on the Ballast Quay Stage while the Fleadh stage was hopping with trad music. Magicians, face-painting, art and archaeology were just some of the other activities for kids to enjoy.
Speaking on behalf of Louth County Council, Festival Director Colette Moss said “The Irish Maritime Festival is a fabulous opportunity to showcase all that Drogheda has to offer. The river is such an important feature of the town and the Festival allows us to celebrate this. Tourism will be a key driver of economic growth in the region and it’s critical to build profile for Drogheda as the Gateway to the Boyne Valley.”
Colette continued “An event such as the Irish Maritime Festival just wouldn’t be possible without the volunteer community in Drogheda. Over 200 volunteers, on and off the water, play their part in making this event the success that it is. We deeply appreciate their support.”
The Festival in Drogheda will live on after this weekend. RTE’s John Creedon visited to film for his new show “The Road Less Travelled”. Singer song writer Declan O’Rourke performed on the deck of the Phoenix for Fleadh TV. Both shows are due to air in August.
Colette concluded “Photos and videos from the event are available to view on the Irish Maritime Festival Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. We’d love you to tag, share and enjoy all the pictures.”