Seabreeze Festival Magic

This year’s Arklow Seabreeze Music and Arts Festival surpassed all expectations bringing out huge crowds for the entire festival creating a magical experience, which ended on Sunday night with a spectacular Fire Works Display on the River Bank Arklow. People were high in their praise for the very small committee of eight people who put on a festival to be proud of, with so many visitors, tourists, families and friends travelling home for the event. Not one bed space was available throughout the entire town of Arklow and surrounding areas, with tourists from USA, Germany, Spain and other towns and villages supporting all of the events and activities in a packed programme.

Under the Chairmanship of  Colm Moules,  he thanked everyone for their help and support for this year’s festival, especially the committee of Tina O Sullivan, Mary Burke, Tommy Annesley, Donal Molloy, Dicey O Reilly, Vinnie Byrne, Jim Hoey and all the volunteers who helped out over the weekend. “A Festival of this magnitude requires a lot of time, planning and execution, which started after last year’s event, and we pulled of a fantastic weekend of Fun, Laughter, Music and Entertainment” Colm said. “With a very small budget, limited resources and support for the local businesses we just about managed to cover the costs of this year’s festival”.  Each year it gets more and more difficult to add something new, raise the bar and give the town something special”.

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There were many highlights during the festival, with the Swinging Pubs competition attracting large numbers each night in the run up to the main part of the festival weekend. Participants were: Darcy Mc Gee’s, The Gin Mill, Kenny’s The Harbour Bar, The Breffini, Sally O Brien’s, The Gallery, Arklow Bay Hotel and the Bridge Hotel. Congratulations and thanks to everyone for taking part and for all their hard work in the run up to their shows each night. A lot of hard work ensured there was a very high standard each night.

The winners this year were:  Best M.C.  –  Paul Burke representing The Bridge Hotel, Best Comedy/Novelty Act –Trish Kavanagh with Hit the Dif and representing The Bridge Hotel, Best Male Performer: Robert Hanney, Best Female Performer –Leah Penston representing Kenny’s’ The Harbour Bar, with the title of Swinging Pubs Champions for 2016 going to the Bridge Hotel. Congratulations to the team of: Mary Kirwin, Rona Mc Cauley, Sophie Mc Gee, Patrick Hoey, Paul Burke, Geraldine Hamilton, Mary Graham, Kathryn Noone, Bernard Fox, Harry Kavanagh, Sean Fox and Fiona Redmond. This was their first win having took part in the Swinging Pubs competition for the past 17 years and their win brought much celebration to Jim and May.

Friday night 15th the kicked in real good style with the annual Carnival in the Car Park on Main street, providing a wonderful attraction to the festival as it does in many other leading festivals throughout the country and bringing much need footfall to the Main Street. The park attracted huge crowds for the Trade Winds annual Burger Eating Competition sponsored by Manu from Trade Wins, to whom we say a big thank you once again. Winner of the Children’s Burger eating competition was: Adam  Van Der Heijden from Arklow.  In the adults section the winners was: Sean Curtis, Arklow and runner up was Simon Hempenstall. Congratulations once again to everyone who took part. “Small Town Crisis” provided the large audience with a top class night of music. They recently released their EP “Darkheart” are an act making great waves in the music scene having recently secured a gig at the Rose of Tralee International Festival in Tralee, Co. Kerry in August. Well done guys and thanks for once again supporting this year’s festival.

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AGB Festival of Football took place on Saturday morning organised by Mick Healy with eight teams providing a great festival of football. Teams taking part were: Clonee, Kilanerin, Bunclody Half Way House, Ashford, Castletown, Naomh Eanna, Gorey, AGB, Arklow and An Tochar Roundwood. Thanks to all the teams for taking part and everyone for travelling to Pearse Park, Arklow for the day. Also on Saturday Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble organised their Summer Sounds Marching Band and Drum Corps Competition in Arklow as part of this year’s festival once again, featuring bands: Clondalkin Youth Band, Mullingar Town Band – Celtic Crusaders, Viking Drums Corps and their own group Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble. This took place in Arklow Celtic Football Club Grounds. Well done to Oisin and all the team on a wonderful day also.

Another feature of the festival this year was the Busking competition attracting a number of wonderful musicians and entertainers. Thank you all to all for coming out and creating a great atmosphere on the streets of Arklow throughout the afternoon on Saturday.  Winners were: 3rd Place – Siofra Ni Dhubhghaill, 2nd Love Triangle and the winners for 2016 were Tristan and Niall.  Well done to everyone.

The Dainty Bakery Baby Show is another feature of the Arklow Seabreeze Music and Arts Festival annually with another large number taking part.  Winners were:

0-1year olds  – 1st Mason Mordaunt, 2nd Kelly Collins and 3rd Theo Stiker Fagan

1-2 year olds – 1st Christopher Bracken, 2nd Millie Redmond and 3rd Evan Seeri

2-3 year olds – 1st Amelia Mordaunt 2nd Harper Kavanagh and 3rd Scott Kavanagh

Overall Winner was: Mason Mordaunt.

Many thanks to everyone who took part on the day and to the Dainty Bakery for their generous sponsorship once again this year.

There were many other events throughout the day and evening on Saturday including Water Melon Challenge, Waiter and Customer Race, Beat the Cube and party games. Rounding off a great day was a feast of wonderful music on the three stages. Top Stage featured “Seo Linn” who gave a wonderful night entertainment and featured a guest spot by local man Daniel Codd singing their hit for the 2016 Euro’s – “The Irish. Roar.” Congratulations and well done. Down on the Middle Stage: Amy and Leah Penston wowed their audiences with a spell binding performance of Rock and Soul, treating people of great night of hits. Bottom Stage featured another top act “The Wise Guys” featuring Bobby Byrne on Trumpet and Tony Byrne on Drums, what a show and what a night. All three stages captivated their audiences looking for more. Thank you so much to all of your for your support. It is great to feature such an amazing array of talent from Arklow and the local area.

Sunday saw another action packed day of entertainment early on in the day.  A new feature to the festival this year was a 4k and 8K Run organised by Jane Merrigan of GoRun.ie and Arklow Seabreeze. Whilst the numbers were small the atmosphere and fun was great, with some great times recorded by those who took part. Thanks to Jane and the team at gorun for all their hard work and to all those who helped out as stewards on the day, it was gratefully appreciated.

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With the streets closed from 1pm, the town was transformed into a Carnival of colour, with family entertainment, Artisan Food and Crafts, Wrestling, Pig Derby, Holy Grail Curry Eating Challenge, Car push and much more it proved a great afternoon for families, visitors and transformed the town into something very positive and uplifting with huge crowds turning out for the day and fantastic weather adding to the atmosphere. Ronald Mc Donald, make a trip to the town park for the Mc Donald’s Teddy Bear’s Picnic, sponsored by Mc Donald’s Arklow, thanks to Wosanta and the team at Mc Donald’s once again. They also provided balloon making and face painting and goodie bags for over 300 children. Thank you so much guys, something special.

Another feature of the Arklow Seabreeze Festival each year is the Pipe Band contest with a number of pipe bands travelling to Arklow for the occasion, which this year was sponsored by JB Refrigeration

Winners were as follows:

Grade 4B:  1st New Ross & District, 2nd Wicklow Pipe Band and 3rd Killeshin, Carlow

Grade 4A: 1st Gorey Pipe Band, 2nd St. Lawrence, Howth

Grade 3: 1st New Ross & District, 2nd St. Maur’s and 3rd St. Laurence, Howth

Open Grade:  1st New Ross & District, 2nd St. Maur’s

Thanks to Ray Finn and the team for all their help and support in organising this competition, which is one of the annual highlights of the Arklow Seabreeze Music and Arts Festival. All bands marched down the town following the final adjudication and provided some great much to the huge numbers who turned out.

The Holy Grail Curry eating competition was won by: David Mulrooney, while the winners of the Mini push were: Nicola, John and Hovana.  Congratulations to everyone who took part.

Overall it was one of the best Seabreeze Festival’s in many years many people remarked.  Closing this year festival on the three stages were:  Top Stage – “The Navvies”, who proved to be a huge hit with the huge number of people who turned out and featured a guest spot by Tommy Breen who gave a wonderful rendition of “The Lonesome Boatman”. Middle Stage featured – “Feel the Pinch”, who once again proved to be another wonderful addition to this year’s festival programme and were a real hit. On the bottom Stage – “After Hours” gave a wonderful Performance and went down really well with festival goers.

Thank you once again to all the bands who provided top class entertainment and for their continued support. We cannot get over the wealth of talent in Arklow and surrounding areas, Arklow should be really proud and should really be called “the Music capital of Ireland”.

Rounding of this year’s  Arklow Seabreeze Festival was the fireworks display on the River Bank, which was outstanding. It was lovely to look back at the bridge and see people lining up every square inch of space across the bridge, makes it really worthwhile, for festival organisers.

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Finally thank you to Arklow Municipal Council, Wicklow County Council, The Bridgewater Shopping Centre, all the pubs who supported the Swinging Pubs, Mc Donald’s, JB Refrigeration and all the local business for their support and sponsorship. To keep the festival alive for next year, we depend on your continued support and a big go raibh mile maith agaibh to all the volunteers and stewards who helped out over the weekend. Thank you to the all the press and photographers, and East Coast FM for their support also. Anyone who helped in any way who made this year’s Arklow Seabreeze Music and Arts Festival a huge hit, THANK YOU.

Watch our website www.arklowseabreezefestival.ie or visit our Face Book page arklowseabreezefestival for more information. If you have any pictures, videos or comments please let us know. Alternatively, if you would like to be involved in any way organising or supporting next year’s festival send an e-mail to: info@arklowseabreezefestival.ie

Further information available from:

Colm Moules

Chairman & PRO Arklow Seabreeze Music and Arts Festival 2016

Mobile: 087 2886845#

E: info@arklowseabreezefestival.ie