Arklow Seabreeze Festival a “Smash Hit”

Arklow Seabreeze Music & Arts Festival 2019 proved to be a “Smash Hit” with large numbers turning out over the last weekend giving audiences something to sing about. Despite a little rain on Sunday night, the sunshine created a carnival atmosphere with music and entertainment at every corner. Headline act “Abbaesque” and their band rocked Arklow with their action packed 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. Chairperson, Tina O’ Sullivan, 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” she also added.

This year’s Bridgewater Seabreeze Princess, Jamie McClean who represented “The Bay Beauty Rooms” 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 Brian Davis and Darragh Godkin and were very worthy winners on the night of the Princess Competition.

Large numbers turned out for the annual “Swinging Pubs” competition this year, proudly supported by Diaego to whom the festival are very grateful to for their support. The Winners were announced on Thursday night last and were as follows:

Adjudicators Recognition Awards –  Joe Donnelly (John Joes) and Martin Breslin (Christy’s)

Best M.C.  – Paul Burke (The Bridge Hotel)

Best Novelty/Comedy – Sister Act – Catherine, Norma, George, Louise, Cilla (The Gin Mill)

Best Female- Bri Elle Finn (The Midway)

Best Male – Paul Rossiter (The Gallery)

Best Overall Show and Swinging Pub Champions 2019 – The Gin Mill.

Taking part in this year’s Swinging Pubs were: Christy’s, 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.

The Trade Winds Burger Eating Competition drew large number to the Town Park on Friday night as saw the following winners: Children’s section – Tommy Kavanagh and in the adult section the winner was Sean Og Conaghan putting away a record number of 12 Burgers and runner ups Angela Vdala who put away 9 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 “Bare Bones” 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: Clonee, Castletown, Ballygarrett, Kilanerin, AGB and Clara. Well done AGB, Mick Healy and Margo Hughes (Chairperson AGB Ladies Football in the club) and all involved in organizing, it was a wonderful morning of football.

The International Marching Bands and Drum Corps Competitions “Summer Sounds” show took place on Saturday at Arklow Celtic FC where Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble obtained their highest score in the 27 year history of the group, a wonderful achievement.

The weekend of band events was hosted by the Arklow’s Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble 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 show of the band season.

Results of the competition were as follows: Soundsport Section – Winners Tallaght Marching Bands Cadets and runners up The InbhearMor Cadets. In the DCE Premier Class the winners were: Vikings Drum Corps, with Inbhear Mor Performance Ensemble taking the runners up position. In third place was Clondalkin Youth Band and Celtic Crusaders (Mullingar Town Band) who came fourth. 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 Arklow audiences. Big thanks to everyone involved for a truly memorable weekend of music and fun especially organisers of this event Oisin Molloy and Mary Kirwin.

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

Newborn- 1 year: Winner – Grace Kenny, Runner up: Mia Collier and 3rd Nia Anna

1-2 year old: Winner – Daniel Bracken, Runner up: Mia Walker and 3rd Riley Mc Donald

2-3 year old: Winner – Zoe Williams, Runner Up – Emily Byrne, 3rd Cody Walker

Overall Winner was Christopher Bracken.

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: Holly Prestage, Runner up : Bri Elle Finn and 3rd Cian and Abbey Breen. A big thank you to all who took part and supported.

Saturday nights entertainment featured local band “The Wise Guys” and their Band on the top stage, while the middle stage saw “Finch” performing, Bottom Stage  saw “After Hours”  perform, all of whom brought huge numbers to the town on Saturday with a top class entertainment.

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.

The Pipe Band competition sponsored by Altura Credit Union with branches in Avoca, Gorey, Rathdrum and Roundwood  was a huge success now in its 33rd year brought bands from all around the country to Arklow and created a wonderful afternoon of competition and entertainment.

Results were as follows: Grade 5/4B: Winners – Carlow Pipe Band, 2nd Killeshin, Co Carlow, 3rd New Ross & District, Co Wexford, .

Grade 4A: Winners – Arklow Pipe Band, 2nd Carlow Pipe Band.

Open Grade – Winners – Arklow Pipe Band, 2nd Carlow Pipe Band, 3rd New Ross & Districk Pipe Band 4th City of Limerick

Best Marching Band – City of Limerick

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

The Sheep Race proved to be another one of the highlights of the day bringing big crowds to the event.

Another highlight of the day was the American Wrestlers, with local guy Liam Enright winning the coveted Belt for the Festival

Sally Cullen 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 “Abbaesque” take to the top stage and were a huge hit with huge crowds turning out to support this wonderful group.. Middle Stage featured another local band “De Ja Vu” again providing great entertainment and finally bottom stage featured  “The Navvies” who provided top class music and entertainment.  Well done guys. Thanks to all the bands and everyone who turned up to support despite the rain which failed to stop crowds turning up, it was super.

The Fireworks ended off a fantastic Arklow Seabreeze Festival for 2019 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 and the large number of volunteers who gave of their time.  A big thank you to Mark Corcoran, ASL Safety for all his help over the weekend, Ciara from the Maratime Festival and Paul Burke for all the photography and AWD for the sponsorship of Wheelie Bins for this years Festival. If we have forgotten anyone apologies and thank you all for your support.

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