Thursday 18 July 2019

Hooked on the Sea scales new heights

David Looby

The Hook Peninsula was a wild place to be during the June Bank Holiday weekend when thousands of people enjoyed fun activities and great seafood during the Hooked on the Sea 2019 festival.

Numerous marine-themed events for all ages took place across the peninsula, including activities on and off the water, seafood promotions and discounts on attractions and accommodation.

Organised by Hook Tourism, the weekend kicked off with three beach clean-up operations at Duncannon beach, Booley Bay and Boyce's Bay. This saw 12 eco warriors of all ages clean up plastic and all kinds of rubbish from three of the county's nicest beaches.

Their reward was a barbecue dished up by the staff at Loftus Hall.

Duncannon Fort opened to the public for the first time in years, with a climbing wall, kiddie's carnival rides, face painting and more for people to enjoy all day Saturday.

Fethard-on-Sea was also busy on Saturday with a country market, while on Sunday a giant slide was one of many attractions in the 'Festival' Field', located behind St Mary's Hall in Fethard. There was a carnival atmosphere and even a dog agility course like something straight out of Crofts, run by Vicki McCarran of Wexford Clever Canine Club. So popular was the dog activity course that Vicki ran it again (literally) with more dogs on Bank Holiday Monday. The weather affected some activities on Saturday especially, but that didn't stop hardened outdoor enthusiasts who enjoyed paddle boarding, boat trips on the estuary, local produce picnics, foraging, hiking, sea-themed children's events and more.

Visitors to Hook Lighthouse got to go aboard a newly commissioned pirate ship at the foot of the lighthouse. Featuring traditional pirate ship paraphernalia, such as a plank for new crew members to take a walk from if they don't behave, the ship was officially named 'Hook Ahoy' on Sunday morning with a traditional smashing of the champagne bottle ceremony using a chocolate champagne bottle.

That evening a very special traditional fish and chip supper event was held at the lighthouse. Pirate Hook, Pat and Pearl entertained children and adults alike with games on the lighthouse lawns. On Bank Holiday Monday, Abbey 3 Par Golf Club got into the swing of things with a special family day.

One of the weekend's organisers Pat Kent said the weekend was a big success, with restaurants and pubs across the peninsula busy and everyone having a great time.

New Ross Standard