Arklow Seabreeze a “Smash Hit”

Arklow Seabreeze Music & Arts Festival 2018 proved to be a “Smash Hit” with large numbers turning out over the last weekend giving record audiences something to sing about. Soaring temperatures and sunshine created a carnival atmosphere with music and entertainment at every corner. Headline act “Jake Carter” and his band rocked Arklow with his action packed on stage performance on the Main Stage as this year’s Festival.

The last two weeks brought much need revenue to the town of Arklow as most businesses’ benefitted from the Summer surge of numbers turning up in the seaside town of Arklow for the action packed programme of activities laid on by Arklow Seabreeze Festival Committee. PRO, Colm Moules, thanked everyone for coming out to support in such large number creating a positive buzz in the town with so much positivity” especially the local businesses and traders of the town. “The Seabreeze Committee have worked so hard over the past year on a very limited budget to bring something special to Arklow” he also added.

This year’s Bridgewater Seabreeze Princess, Roisin Long who represented “The Gallery” was a wonderful ambassador for the Festival was out almost day and night during the Festival enjoying all the activities which the committee are most grateful to. Mr. Seabreeze this year was won by Thomas Moylan from Greenane, Rathdrum was a very worthy winner on the night of the Princess Competition.

Huge numbers turned out for the annual “Swinging Pubs” competition this year, proudly supported by Smithwicks to whom the festival are very grateful to for their support. The Winners were announced on Thursday night last and were as follows: Kelly Fisher Award for Best Comedy was presented to the Arklow Seabreeze Festival for the first time this year by her son Adam, was won by Robert Donnelly representing “The Old Ship, Best Traditional Act – “The Gallery” – Irish Dancers Caoimhe, Blanaid, Siofra and Nicole, Best Female Performer – Caoimhe Kavanagh “The Gin Mill”, Best Male Performer – Shane Hempenstall “John Joe’s”, Best M.C. – Oisin Molly “The Gin Mill” and overall Swinging Pubs Champion for 2018, “The Bridge Hotel” for a record third year in a row.

Taking part in this year’s Swinging Pubs were: The Old Ship, Arklow Bay Hotel, The Midway, John Joe’s, The Gin Mill, The Gallery, Sally O’Brien’s and Bridge Hotel. Congratulations to everyone who took part and supported their local.

Unfortunately due to small numbers Arklow’s Fittest Family did not go ahead, instead “Hang Tough” took place instead with a large number of individuals taking part. Thanks to everyone who took part. Arklow Community First Responders gave a wonderful demonstration of the work they do in the local community and was very well received. The Trade Winds Burger Eating Competition drew large number to the Town Park on Friday night as saw the following winners: Children’s section – Mia Redmond and Lilly Douglas respectively. In the adult section the winner was Sammy Roche putting away a record of 10 Burgers. Thanks to Mano and the team at Trade Winds for their continued support and sponsorship of this event. Music in the park on Friday night was provided by “Inuendo” and proved to be a great success also.

AGB Festival of Football on Saturday saw teams  compete in Pearse Park where AGB Ladies hosted the Seabreeze Festival of Football Under 8 and Under 10. Teams competing were: Under 8 – AGB no 1 and 2 teams and Ashford, Under 10 – Clonee Co Wexford, Kilanerin, Gorey, Co Wexford,  Clonmore Co Carlow, AGB Team 1 and Team 2, Ashford, Roundwood, Baltinglass and Wicklow. Well done AGB, Mick Healy, Terry, Margo Hughes and all involved in organizing, it was a wonderful morning of football.

Arklow’s Inbhear Mór Performance Ensemble were crowned 2018 IMBA Champions at a hugely successful “Summer Sounds” show which took place on Saturday at Arklow Celtic FC.

The weekend of band events was hosted by the Arklow group in conjunction with Arklow Seabreeze Festival and the Irish Marching Band Association. Six marching music groups ascended on Arklow for the weekend with over 200 musicians and dancers performing. This was the final of four shows that have taken place in the IMBA season over the past 5 months.

For the first time in the 30 year history of the IMBA, the honours for championship first place resulted in a tie between Inbhear Mór Performance Ensemble and Vikings Drum Corps from Tallaght, Dublin. Both competitive units now proceed on to the Drum Corps Europe (official) Championships which take place in Kerkrade, Holland on September 29th. Also performing at the show were the Inbhear Mór Cadets (Arklow) who were awarded a Bronze Award in SoundSport class, WinterFestival (Dublin) – Silver Award and Best in Show (SoundSport) , Arklow Ukulele Players – Bronze Award (Soundport) & very special guests Revolution – Queensbury Scout Band from Queensury, UK scoring 58.90 in DCE Premier Class. Following the competition on Saturday afternoon, over 100 musicians and dancers assembled on Main Street for “Drum Corps Rocks the Town” which proved a HUGE hit with the Arklow audiences. Big thanks to everyone involved for a truly memorable weekend of music and fun.

The Dainty Bakery Baby Show proved another hit once again this year resulting in the following:

Newborn- 1 year: Winner – Mia Walker, Runner up: AJ Murphy and 3rd Reilly Mc Donald

1-2 year old: Winner – Tyler Wall, Runner up: Harper Mc Manus and 3rd Eva Breen

2-3 year old: Winner – Teigan Peters, Runner Up – Christopher Bracken, 3rd Suzanne Salon

Thanks to the Dainty Baker for their sponsorship once again this year and to all who took part.

The Busking Competition was another hit on the streets of Arklow on Saturday with buskers taking up every available corner of the town and creating a wonderful atmosphere as part of this year’s Festival

Winners were: Chris Flood Hayes, Runner up : Bri Elle Finn and 3rd The Byrne Family. A big thank you to all who took part and supported.


Headline Act “Jake Carter” and his Band brought huge numbers to the town on Saturday with a top class performance and crowds not

Seen since Jedward visited Arklow.  “The Breakfast Club” played on the Middle Stage on Saturday night, and were on their maiden voyage having only formed and played in The Midway the previous night. Well done guys you were super.  Bottom Stage featured “Before June” previously known as LH28 and featured local girl Amy Penston as lead vocalist, rocking the town with her refreshing band of music and every hit from the 80’s in their own style.

Sunday saw the main street closed to traffic and an abundance of market stalls adorned the main street. The Mc Donald’s Teddy Bear’s Picnic proved another wonderful success bringing out huge numbers to the Town Park on Main Street. A big thank you to Mc Donald’s for their support and for the Face painting, Balloon Making, all of which went down very with all the children.  Wicklow Miners Comhaltas Group from Avoca, provided some wonderful traditional music on the middle stage on Sunday afternoon and a big thank you to this group only formed recently.

The Pipe Band competition sponsored by JB Refrigeration was a huge success now in its 32nd year brought bands from all around the country to Arklow and created a wonderful afternoon of competition and entertainment. Results were as follows: Grade 4B: Winners – Carlow Pipe Band, 2nd Youghal, Co Cork, 3rd Killeshin, Co Carlow, 4th Black Raven from Dublin. Best Drum Corps: Killeshin, Co Carlow

Grade 4A: Winners – Arklow Pipe Band, 2nd Achill, Co May. Best Drum Corps – Arklow Pipe Band

Grade 3 – Winners – Arklow, 2nd Achill, Co Mayo Best Drum Corps – Arklow Pipe Band

Open Grade – Winners – Arklow, 2nd Carlow Pipe Band, 3rd Killeshin, Co Carlow, 4th Black Raven, Dublin

Best Marching Band – Youghal, Co Cork

A big thank you to Arklow Pipe Band for organizing once again this year and to Ray Finn and his team.

The Pig Race proved to be another of the highlights of the day bringing huge crowds out once again this year.

Winner of the Midway Chilli Madness was: David Mulrooney

Dayna Byrne won top prize of €100 as winner of the Great Ball Race

Fun and games and free entertainment proved a huge hit over the entire weekend and brought out huge numbers to the Festival this year.

Sunday night saw “The Navvies” take to the top stage and were a huge hit with huge crowds turning out to support these wonderful local guys. Middle Stage featured another local band “Feel The Pinch” again providing great entertainment to big numbers too and finally bottom stage featured Drogheda based E’ Motion a new and upcoming band featuring lead singer Donna Donnelly.  Well done guys.  Thanks to all the bands and everyone who turned up to support, it was super.

The Fireworks ended off a fantastic Arklow Seabreeze Festival for 2018 and the committee would like to thank everyone who gave their time and money to help the Festival once again this year.  Many thanks to all the friends of the Festival an sponsors who put their hands in the pockets to make Arklow Seabreeze Festival Happen.

Finally thanks to the emergency services, Gardaí, Arklow Municipal Council, Arklow & District Chamber of Commerce, AWD for Bins and removing rubbish, and the large number of volunteers who gave of their time.

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