The Galway docks are set to rock with a host of free events to celebrate Galway’s first powerboat festival.
The seven-day festival, which begins on Saturday, will be based once again in the Galway docks which was the centre of last year’s most successful Volvo Ocean Race stopover.
Organised by the Let’s Do It Galway team, the festival is expected to attract more than 100,000 visitors to the city.
On the water, the action begins tomorrow (Friday) with round two of the 2010 SuperStock Championship. The thrill-seeking action will be centred in Salthill where fans can enjoy the best views, in addition to race commentaries. Up to 20 identical powerboats, measuring between 21 and 27ft in two race classes, will compete in three races on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
On bank holiday Monday offshore powerboats will leave Galway Bay in pursuit of the Around Ireland Offshore Powerboat title. The race will circumnavigate the coast of Ireland and will be the toughest endurance powerboat race on the international circuit.
The finale on June 12 is the P750 Cross Border Championship, which will coincide with the return of the Around Ireland Powerboat Challenge.
On land the Galway Race Village will open from 10am to 10.30pm daily with a full programme of entertainment with food and craft stalls, bars, DJs, street performers, a buskers’ corner, face-painters and balloon modellers.
Opening the festival will be Cork singer-songwriter Mick Flannery, while Declan O’Rourke will be the highlight on Sunday, along with new phenomenon Crystal Swing who perform on Sunday at 3pm.
Bank holiday Monday sees The Cartoon Thieves, formerly known as No Banjo, in action on the big stage, while it is the turn of the hugley popular Black Magic Band on Tuesday evening. Wednesday June 9.
One of Galway’s much loved live party bands, The Conquerors, will attract their large loyal following, while Galway’s hottest live act right now, the Timbertramps, are the main Thursday night act.
Dublin-based rock band, 21 Demands, perform on Friday evening, before Galway’s finest rockabilly rocker Joe Fury, closes the festival on Saturday.
The festival also will host street theatre and arts events, including Macnas, which will bring Random Acts of Macnas to the docks, street theatre company Realta which will showcase its dancing, acrobat and stilt-walking skills, while Amani Acrobats will perform their gravity-defying feats of physical strength and acrobatic skill throughout the Race Village on Friday and Saturday.
A live graffiti art piece will be produced in the race village by some of Galway's accomplished graffiti artists, while the Tuam All Star Gymnasts are expected to wow the crowd with their acrobatic displays.
Traffic restrictions will be in place during the Galway Powerboat Festival and Park n Ride will operate from the Galway Race Course at Ballybrit from 11.30am to 9pm this weekend.