Sailfest fringe events will truly have something for everybody
THE Round Ireland Sailfest will bring lots of excitment to Wicklow town when it returns on June 27, 28 and 29.
The Round Ireland Sailfest was first held in 2010 to add a welcome level of fun and entertainment for all visiting Wicklow town for the start of the Round Ireland Yacht Race.
From start to finish, the weekend is packed full of family fun and of course, yacht racing.
Festivities kick-off from 8 p.m. at Wicklow Sailing Club on the Friday with Perfect Friction, Luan Parle and Sharon Crosbie getting the party started.
There will also be a selection of local artisan stalls while the night sky will be lit up by Sailfest fireworks. If you're looking for a dining experience with a difference, why not try the Sailfest Pop Up Restaurant upstairs in Ernie's Bar courtesy of The Fishman and Chef Keith Kenny.
Sailfest fringe events will take place across the weekend and include McFadden's Funfair (Leitrim Green) and events in most Wicklow town pubs and restaurants.
Festival fun continues to the Saturday with the Round Ireland Day.
The day starts with The Mayor's Challenge (10am), a 5K Fun Run which will raise much needed funds for local charities.
Then off to the Sailfest Family Fun Day for 12 noon at the Black Castle which includes a climbing wall, oversized games, storytelling, face painting, Caolan McBride Magic Show, The Afrikan Warriors Circus Show, a Custom's Dog Show, Yoga demonstration and lots more.
The Round Ireland Yacht Race itself will start at 2 p.m., with the yachts leaving to the tune of Wicklow Pipe Band, quickly followed by a low level fly past with aircraft from Newcastle Airfield and then a tremendous air display by Ireland's number one Stunt Pilot Eddie Goggins.
If that isn't enough to tickle your fancy, why not visit the Sailfest Craft Village in Fitzwilliam Square.
From 6.30 p.m. local bands The Daily Howl, Universal Funk Orchestra and The Brian Meakin Band will take to the main Sailfest stage in the Abbey Car Park with The Classic Beatles headlining.
This year's twist comes on the Sunday with the returning Taste of Wicklow Town at 12 noon. Set in the stunning Abbey Grounds, the vastly improved Taste of Wicklow Town will be a fusion of local food, top class chefs including Catherine Fulvio and Paul Kelly, artisan market, tastings, walkabout performers, oversized children's games, face painting, a Mystic Celt Pop Up BBQ and a traditional circus show by the famous Babcock and Bobbins.
Sailfest Taste of Wicklow Town Day Pass tickets cost €5 for adults, while Under-12's get in free.
The weekend of festivities will draw to an end with a Sailfest Grand Finale Party hosted by Ulster Bank in Conway Port's 10,000 sq. ft. warehouse at Wicklow Harbour. This event will also double as the launch for Wicklow town's first all day music festival The Secret Garden.