SEABREEZE Festival volunteers are working in dual shifts to complete the finishing touches for Arklow’s biggest weekend of the summer comeback.
he has long awaited Arklow’s return during this weekend’s Seabreeze Festival from Friday 15 July to Sunday 17 July and has faced many of the challenges that the festival committee Hard work has passed to get Seabreeze back on the summer calendar for Arklow and beyond.
With just a few days to go before Seabreeze returns, the committee is still looking for people to lend a hand with the final preparations before the festival begins next Friday. Noeleen Hughes, who has worked tirelessly over the past few months with the festival committee, details exactly what remains to be done and what the committee is doing with the time it has left.
“We still need a few more volunteers, we have a few of them working dual shifts at the moment,” explains Noeleen.
With Seabreeze’s return from a three-year absence due to lockdown, the committee feels more tense than in any previous year.
With a post-pandemic economy with little or no room for businesses to donate to the festival, the committee had to get more creative with their fundraising.
“This period has been very stressful with businesses closing from covid. We usually fund the festival with donations from local businesses but of course people don’t have to give this year. It was a struggle; We have bingo nights coming before and after the festival to help with our fundraising. ‘ said Noeleen.
The committee worked overtime to provide a weekend of activity and fun for the family, but with the event fast approaching, Noeleen and the team had to take it a step further to ensure the event went through. going well.
“We meet every Monday around seven or eight o’clock in the evening and we can be there for two or three hours. We were told we couldn’t have the main stage at the top of the street, so we had to reshuffle everything and start over a week and a half ago,” said Noeleen.
The festival is expected to attract just over twenty thousand people over the weekend, with a fireworks display to mark a long-awaited return. Noeleen and the committee would like to thank those who have sponsored and donated to the festival as well as the people of Arklow who have been looking forward to the upcoming weekend.
“We have received a lot of positive feedback from people in Arklow and outside of town,” says Noeleen.
One local with a longstanding relationship to the event is Councilmember Tommy Annesley.
He said the event was ‘much needed’ for businesses in the town.
“It’s a huge economic benefit to Arklow,” he said. “It brings a lot of tourists into town and is essential for local commerce, B&Bs, bars and restaurants and hotels.”
He added: “While you had a chance to get a bedroom in town last week, you didn’t get the chance this week. It brings home visitors and families, who all plan their trips back to coincide with that time because there is so much to do.”
The Swinging Pubs competition has been creating an atmosphere in town, with pubs across Arklow hosting hot contests ahead of tomorrow night’s final at The Bridge Hotel.
Previously, Bridgewater Shopping Center held the Little Princess and Princess Seabreeze Contest at their mall.
On Friday, though, the real action begins, and Councilmember Miriam Murphy is looking for its defender.
“It’s great and I know there’s a very small committee that’s been doing trojan work, which will benefit both new and old together,” she said. “It’s just great. Fair fees for them. “
Cllr Murphy had made reservations to see The Kilkenny’s Saturday night at Main Stage and before the show was feeling nostalgic about some of her first Seabreeze visits.
“Seabreeze started with John Collins, an entrepreneur, who later owned a chiller,” she recalls. “It wasn’t called Seabreeze then, but he brought marching bands to town. There are thousands of people there. “
To stay up to date with all of Arklow’s upcoming action this weekend, visit the Seabreeze Festival’s Facebook page.
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