Biggest ever Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival has fun in spades
This year's Duncannon Sandsculpting Festival is the biggest yet, with everything from beach yoga and a Santa Run, to fireworks and gourmet food for people to enjoy.
Taking place from Friday, August 10, to Sunday, August 12, the festival is expected to attract thousands of people into Duncannon village.
The sandsculpting tents will be twice the size this year, so people can look forward to more sand sculptures.
The organisers have adopted a Green is good theme for the festival, focussing on preserving the environment through recycling, preserving the harbour and beaches and eradicating littering.
They have also announced that there is from now on a fundraising element to the festival, through which local charities and groups will benefit.
This year's donation will be made to Duncannon NS.
On Friday, August 10, the festival kicks off with a parade at 7.30 p.m., which leaves from the national school travelling through the village to the sand-sculpting marquee at the beach.
The parade features Brazilian style Carnival band Bloco Garman, Junk Kouture costumes designed by Ramsgrange Community School students, colourful entrants in the best mermaid and best pirate competitions, as well as members of local GAA, soccer and scout groups.
The official opening ceremony takes place at 8 p.m. followed by the judging of the best mermaid and pirate competition.
The always entertaining bars relay race takes place at 8.30 p.m. in which customers from rival bars compete for the honour of being named the Fittest Bar.
A party on the green and beach takes place from 8.30 p.m. till 10 p.m. with DJ Eamonn playing upbeat summer sounds.
This will be followed by a fireworks display which will conclude the first day's festival entertainment at 10.15 p.m.
The sand sculpting marquee is open from noon till 7 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, offering visitors and locals the chance to see fantastic creations made entirely of sand. The kids play zone is open on both days from noon till 5 p.m., featuring games and competitions, stories from the enchanting Baya The Storyteller, face painting and beach volley ball.
There is also a gourmet food market from noon till 6 p.m., an upstyle craft fair from noon till 7 p.m., and a 'Giant's Sculpture Workshop', where children can help build a giant sea creature.
Children are asked to bring pieces of sand washed glass, small bits of driftwood, shells, coloured plastic bottles and stones with holes in them. Musical entertainment will be provided from an opera air music stage from 3 p.m. till 7 p.m., and there will be a treasure hunt on the beach at 3.30 p.m,.
Celebrity chef Kevin Dundon will judge an oyster eating competition by the beach and crab fishing takes place at the harbour in the evening.
Yoga enthusiasts can enjoy a grand stretch or two on the beach at 7.30 a.m. with Ritchie Doyle and are asked to bring their yoga mat. Many of Saturday's events continue on Sunday, along with a series of Clean Coast talks and child friendly maritime games and activities on the stand and on the beach.
The always popular amateur sand sculpting competition takes place at 2.30 p.m., followed by an open air concert from 3 p.m. till 6 p.m. and a 'Santa Run' to find the fastest Santa in the south east at 3.30 p.m.
Participants are asked to bring a Santa suit. A beach clean up takes place at 5 p.m. rounding off an action packed festival, supported by Duncannon Village Renewal Committee.
New Ross Standard