Our intrepid intern Tori Wilton is back to give us her perspective on The Irish Maritime Festival 2017, which took place at Drogheda Port recently. Here’s her “Intern’s Eye View”:
Drogheda Port once again played host this summer to the Irish Maritime Festival, which was a roaring success. The Maritime Festival, if you haven’t already heard of it, is a family-friendly, swashbuckling, laughter-filled event which brings our port to life each year as the gates are opened to the public.
This was my first huge public event, and it was a privilege to see it from build-up to close-down. Before the masses descended on the port, a make-over was necessary. The wonderful team at Cuckoo Events did a fantastic job building the many stages and areas involved in the production of the festival, including the Ballast Quay Stage hosted by Gerry Hodgers of The Purple Sessions, The Living Room bar courtesy of Sarsfields public house, and The Big Dig, an archaeological delight for young historical enthusiasts who enjoy digging in sand for buried treasure… and these are only a few of the attractions!
As a volunteer leader, I was placed in the centre of the port which provided me with a brilliant view of the entire festival. Straight ahead of me was a rogue mermaid by the name of Bella Agogo, stranded atop a rock with an evil lobster intent on scaring young and old alike, and the incredibly hilarious Billy Bubbles who delighted both the kids and their adults with his raucous magic display and Punch and Judy shows. To either side of me were the main attraction of the Maritime Festival, the astounding Tall Ships which sail into the port each year. From the masts of the Russian Shtandart, aerial acrobats exhibited death-defying routines based on the story of Peter Pan, while Captain Hook tried his very best to capture Pan and his fairy-friend Tinkerbell, but was thankfully outsmarted.
Slightly further away from me was Finn MacCool’s fairground, for any thrill-seekers in the crowds, and some fantastic refreshment stands including my personal favourite, the Man of Aran Fudge stand, from whom I bought my body-weight in sweet, delicious fudge. In one of the marquees, a Taste of Ireland’s Ancient East provided wonderful treats, and several cookery presentations by local food producers.
As well as all this, RTE’s “You Should Really See a Doctor” with Dr. Pixie and Dr. Phil helped many who had ailments and questions about health, which was filmed at the port. Across from the film crew was the Norman Village, where history came to life and battle skills were shown off.
Between the string of pirate ships, the wonderful art and music displays, the food and the people, this year’s Maritime Festival truly was a weekend to remember, and I, for one, can’t wait until next year!