This summer, the Irish Maritime Festival returns to Drogheda Port – and there’s plenty to enjoy and explore over two days of the popular festival which celebrates maritime history and heritage.
Back bigger and better than ever, the festival is also renowned for it’s eclectic musical performances, delicious food and range of family friendly fun which ensures there’s something for everyone.
Taking part on Saturday June 10th and Sunday June 11th this year, the festival has secured the Russian Frigate Shtandart which is an exact replica of the man-of-war built by Peter the Great in 1703. Every year the tall ships that dock at the port are a big attraction and this year is no exception.
“We’ve a new programme of activity on the water this year. In addition to the six beautiful ships look up to see the Peter Pan Aerial Show performed from the mast of the tall ship ‘The Shtandart’, explains Drogheda Port captain Martin Donnelly.
Visitors will also be able to meet the dedicated crew of the Irish Coastguard and Boyne Fishermans Rescue and learn about all they do as well as watch the elegant yachts racing into the Port as they complete the Howth-Drogheda Yacht Challenge.
On Saturday lunchtime, you can cheer on the brave swimmers as they take on the might of the river in the Boyne Swim and weather permitting, organisers have also got some more surprises on the river too.
Speaking about this year’s festival, organiser Mary T Daly said, “We’ve worked really hard to create a fabulous fun festival for visitors of all ages. You’ll have a blast as you explore the visiting tall ships, especially the amazing Russian Frigate Shtandart.
There’ll also be a Norman invasion of the port too, with exciting sword fights and the opportunity to learn about life in Norman times too.
As ever, food and music also makes up a huge part of the festival – away from the maritime theme. Explaining what’s on offer, Festival Producer Elaine Fitzsimon said. “Food is going to be a huge part of the 2017 Festival. Hosted by the Boyne Valley Food Series, ‘A Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East’ will showcase all the delicious produce, food and craft brews that the region has to offer.
“Celebrity chef Tara Walker will also head up a busy schedule of cookery demos and there will tastings galore and lovely treats to buy and take home,” she continued.
21 different live music acts will grace the Ballast Quay Stage hosted by Gerry Hodgers while music lovers can also kick back in The Boyne Living Room by Sarsfieds with a local craft beer and enjoy the daytime and evening gigs. The Droichead Arts Centre, in conjunction with Drogheda Port, will host two fabulous ‘Stowaway Sessions’ on the Earl of Pembroke on Friday and Saturday night. Tickets to those shows will go on sale next week and are strictly limited.
Want more? Local artists and maritime painter Ryan Mutter will showcase their artistic talents in Lir’s World of Art while Pixie McKenna and Phil Kiernan from RTE’s You Should Really See A Doctor will also be in attendance.
“This is just a taste of all that we have on offer at the Irish Maritime Festival in association with Virgin Media, ” Daly concluded. “There are so many more things to see and do. Put the date in your diary, call your friends and family – invite them to Drogheda for the weekend.
You can follow the Irish Maritime Festival on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news and for lots of great competitions. The Irish Maritime Festival is sponsored by Virgin Media, Aura, Flogas, Glanbia, Fáilte Ireland and Ireland’s Ancient East.