Wexford's quay-front is set to be a hive of activity this weekend as one of the town's best loved festivals returns in the form of Wexford Maritime Festival.
As always, this year's festival is jam-packed with events for young and old over the course of two days. Certain to be an absolute hit with festival goers of all ages is the gravity defying stunt air show which takes place at 3 p.m. on Sunday afternoon. The droning of stunt planes will be heard all over town as pilots pull off some amazing manoeuvres, with any luck, to a packed quay in the sunshine!
With the festival making such a major fundraiser for the RNLI, there will be a great opportunity to talk to volunteers and crews from rescue services such as the RNLI, Air Corps, HSE, Civil Defence, Coast Guard, Gardaí, Fire Brigade, Marine Watch, Slaney Search and Rescue and many more at the Rescue Village on both days.
Those in attendance will also have the chance to get out on the water at the Try it Dock from noon to 6 p.m. each day, providing the opportunity to have a go at paddle-boarding, sailing, raft racing and boating trips.
Also opening it's doors on both days will be the Maritime Village which sees a huge collection of intricate models along with a special exhibition by the Rosslare Maritime Enthusiasts on 'Wexford Coastal Shipping'.
Because all this maritime madness can be hungry work, the food village is once again sure to be a big hit and will see a whole array of tasty treats from Wexford strawberries, crepes and doughnuts, to wood fired pizza, barbecue burgers and burritos. Again the food village is open on both days from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The little ones will well and truly be kept busy over the weekend too with a whole host of activities including Viking activities and lego, marine and pottery workshops to name but a few.
Among Saturday's other highlights are the annual blessing of the boats at 11 a.m. at the Crescent Steps, Ferrycarrig rowing club's dawn 'til dusk rowing challenge and the search and rescue demonstration at 3 p.m. which will include the Coast Guard helicopter, Wexford RNLI's lifeboat and the civil defence all in action. The main stage sees performances from Superstars Academy at 2 p.m., South End Sea Shanties at 2.30 p.m. and Danescastle Music Group at 4 p.m. before Craobh Loch Garman Comhaltas finish things off for the evening at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, all visiting vessels will form a parade at 12 noon, while hilarity is a guarantee as the annual raft races take place from 2 p.m. followed by the much anticipated stunt air show at 3 p.m. On the main stage, the Sea Shanty singers return once again at 2 p.m. with the HFC Concert Band taking to the stage at 2.30 p.m.
The weekend proves to be a hit each year and with a little bit of help from Mr Sun, this year will be no different. For a full festival line-up, visit www.wexfordmaritimefestival.ie.