Thousands will flock to Donaghadee this Saturday 10th August as the town prepares to celebrate the annual Lifeboat Festival.
Donaghadee will be the place to be as it welcomes visitors from far and wide, who come to celebrate the role of the RNLI (Royal National Lifeboat Institution) and the work it carries out saving lives at sea.
Some may need rescuing when in rafts of all shapes and sizes, crews in fancy dress, set sail in the raft race from the slipway at the sailing club.
Competitors will try to navigate their rafts around the picturesque bay while fighting off the opposition crews who will be determined to slow them down. It promises to be a lively, wet and entertaining spectacle.
Just down the harbour, there will be a diverse range of stalls, our largest number to date, selling a wide range of goods, jewellery, crafts, foodstuffs, together with the opportunity to see a local chef cook locally caught seafood. A henna tattooist will be on hand to create some exotic body designs.
Visit your local lifeboat
There will also be the opportunity to visit the lifeboat with our local volunteer crew only to happy to impart their expert knowledge and experiences to young and old alike .The crew of the “Saxon” were called out twenty six times last year and were part of the Irish lifeboats that brought 1,041 people to safety.
For the children there will be water walking,carousel, train and roundabout rides.Plus the RNLI’s own stormy sam, a magic storyteller and Mr balloon man. Plus the chance to win prizes on the duck grabbing, crazy golf and clown games.
As well as the chance to visit Donaghadee’s famous Lighthouse the first time it’s been open to the public in 12 years, then you can check out a vintage lifeboat restored to its former glory by local man Quinton Nelson.
Visitors can also see units of the Portrush beach guards, Fire Service and Coastguards as well as a Green Goddesss fire engine from yesteryear.
Live music on stage
At 2.15 the harbour will echo to the sound of live entertainment on stage, first up will be the BLT Way, a great trio followed by our very own Donaghadee Community Choir who were so good last year we had to have them back. Jackie Flavelle will round up the afternoon’s musical entertainment in his own inimitable style.
Tenth anniversary Supper Dance
In the evening there will be a Supper dance in the Meadowbank Club to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the arrival of the present lifeboat “Saxon” tickets are £10 and can be purchased at the lifeboat shop and Kates Shoe Shop.
So come on down and join in the festivities in what promises to be a fun filled day in aid of a great cause. The lifeboat team are grateful for the help of Ards B.C. The Dept for Regional Development and Harbourmaster William Angus, Curran Transport and Francis Dunn for their continued support.
The Festival opens at 12noon with the raft Race, the lighthouse is open between 1 and 4pm.The music starts on stage at 2.15 and the Lifeboat is open to all at 2.30.