independent

Sunday 22 September 2019

Invasion of sand sculptors marks Norman history in Duncannon

Daniel Doyle from Dublin putting the finishing touches to his sand sculpure themed The Norman Way. Photo: Mary Browne
Daniel Doyle from Dublin putting the finishing touches to his sand sculpure themed The Norman Way. Photo: Mary Browne

Maria Pepper

Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival which was held this year on the theme of the Normans, resulted in a welcome invasion of visitors to the seaside location over the bank holiday weekend.

The four-day event opened with a parade and fireworks display on Friday night after four professional sand sculptors Anique Kuizenga from the Netherlands, Daniel Doyle from Dublin and Niall Magee from Blessington created three massive festival centre pieces inspired by the 'Norman Way' in an exhibit marquee for everyone to enjoy.

On Saturday, 'Manu' from Spain, regarded as one of the top sand artists in the world, created designs on the sand surface of the beach which could be appreciated from the ramparts of Duncannon Fort which was open for an exciting programme of activities during the weekend.

The attractions included a craft fair, storytelling with Baya, a dog show and dog agility demonstrations with Vicky from Wexford Clever Canines Society outside Campile.

On Saturday night, historian Brian Matthews gave a public lecture in the Fort on the Norman Way. On Sunday, more than 20 families and groups took part in the David Browne Amateur Sand Sculpting Competition, named in honour of the man who started the contest. Each participating group buys a plot of beach for €5 on which to make a sand sculpture.

The overall winners were the McGuinness family from Kildare with a sand sculpture on the Norman Way, followed in second place by the Doyle family from Dublin with the 'Lunar Landing' and in third place was a 'Norman Pint of Guinness' by Jim's Miracle Group.

There was music by Freeway, Divine Invention and D.J.'s Jim Fitzgibbon and Mixie Dixie Conway and early morning yoga on the beach for those who didn't over-indulge the night before. The Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival which started many years ago with one sand sculpture in a polytunnel is now a highlight of the summer calendar, organised by Duncannon Village Renewal, under chairperson Michelle Wallace.

New Ross Standard

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