Galway city is set for a midsummer boost of up to €7m this weekend when more than 100,000 people flock to the city for the mouthwatering Seafest event.
Many hotels in Galway city are already booked out for the event, with hundreds of delegates flying into Ireland to take part in a global ocean science summit in the city and families from across the country flocking to the county to partake in the festivities.
A packed programme of events has been drawn up by the organisers — More than 500 sailing and boat trips, and 800 kayaking sessions will take place over the weekend, ensuring as many visitors as possible can enjoy the thrill of being on the high seas.
SeaFest chairman Dr John Killeen said that Seafest has generated enormous interest at home and abroad establishing itself as a global leader in ocean research and the biggest family friendly free festival of its kind in the country this year.
“With the level of hotel and restaurant bookings we are seeing, we estimate that the maritime festival based around the harbour and the ocean summit will be worth at least €7 million in direct income and many times more in indirect spending.”
There is truly something for everyone to see and do at SeaFest 2018. Visitors can enjoy famous ships, flyboarding, seafood, sailing, and lots more as Galway Harbour and docks transforms into a giant, interactive ‘sea world’ for the three day festival with the entire waterfront awash with non-stop water based activity. Every inch of the port will be crammed with boats, more than 100, of all shapes and sizes, including sailing, scientific, and Navy ships.
\A welcome addition to this year’s festival line-up is The Atlantic Theatre, a purpose-built marquee, offering ocean-inspired talks and films. Multi-award winning cameraman Doug Allan will share his experiences from filming in some of the wildest and most remote places on Earth for Blue Planet, Frozen Planet, and Ocean Giants. Screenings of the breath-taking documentary Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, and the Oscar-nominated Irish animation Song of the Sea will be held over the weekend.
Ireland’s top chefs will host live seafood cookery demonstrations in the BIM/Bord Bia Seafood Experience. Visitors can view live fish and shellfish species from Irish waters, take a virtual reality stroll under the sea, and find out more about BIM’s Fishing for Litter initiative. Seafood lovers will also enjoy the range of cookery demonstrations on offer at the Gastronomy Showcase Van, to celebrate Galway as the European Region of Gastronomy 2018. In the dedicated Kids Zone, children can build marine-inspired creations with LEGO, create sea-themed crafts to take home, explore touch tank displays, and learn about the impact of marine litter. The interactive exhibition ‘Sea Science – The Wild Atlantic’ at Galway City Museum will be open, and enhanced by children’s art and craft workshops and a resident scientist performing entertaining and educational experiments.
Festival-goers can make the most of the SeaFest experience by downloading the free SeaFest App, and access the programme, visitor information, maps, and the latest news. SeaFest goers can also find more information and see the full programme of activities on www.seafest.ie
For more details, see our Seafest feature starting on Page 48.