THE Wicklow Regatta, the longest running regatta in Ireland, returns this July and has started an online fundraiser to help cover the cost of staging the event.
The regatta first took place in Wicklow town back in 1878, and soon grew to become a prominent part of the local calendar. The outbreak of the pandemic meant the Wicklow Regatta could only hold a few online competitions in 2020 and 2021, and now the Regatta Committee are looking forward to making a return.
Regatta Chairman John Goodman said: “We are delighted to be back and we have really been encouraged by the amount of good will people are offering us. We are getting a great response from everyone. We were limited to only having online events for the previous two years, so it’s great to return to the traditional format. I think people really missed the regatta and are looking forward to it coming back.”
Another consequence of the pandemic was the move away from people carrying cash. This has meant that their usual fundraising activities for the regatta have not yielded enough. A GoFundMe page has been opened to help make up for those losses.
John explained: “We try to make most of our events free to attend so we rely on fundraising activities such as bag packing, flag days and other cash based collections to raise the money to run the events.
“Since Covid and the reduction in the use of cash we are struggling to raise funds so GoFundMe would provide us with a means to collect much needed money. We would be very appreciative of any donations.”
You can find the GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/f/wicklow-regatta-2022.
The festivities begin on the weekend of Friday, July 22, and continue throughout the week up to the August bank holiday. Ten pubs in Wicklow town, Rathnew and Ashford have already signed up to take part in the always popular Singing Pubs competition, while the bar persons race will also be making a welcome return.
“We will be having more outdoor music on the street and we are also looking to do something highlighting mental health, especially youth mental health. We aim to link up with a local charity,” added John.
“We will also be hosting golly fishing, and the raft race will also take place, which is always very popular. People can try out sailing in the harbour and we also intend to bring back the duck race. We are just working on the details at the moment.
“We will be having the usual heritage walks and maritime talks. The family fun day will feature activities for the children, as well as the usual fancy dress competition and dog show.”
The program for Wicklow Regatta 2022 will soon be available for purchase, and each copy contains a number which will enter you into a raffle, with some great prizes up for grabs.