Ireland’s premier maritime festival (June 29-July 1) in Galway is expected to attracted over 100,000 visitors and to generate in excess of €7m for the local economy. Galway harbour will be the hub for the three-day festival of vessel tours, aquatic displays, exhibitions and entertainment.
The addition of Galway’s European Region of Gastronomy designation “will be outstanding in terms of food and tourism”, remarked Dave Hickey, president of Galway Chamber of Commerce.
Beau Weston, stunt performer and pro-flyboard from New Zealand, entertains the crowds at Seafest 2017
Ireland’s marine infrastructure and resources will be on show, giving visitors the opportunity to learn about the ocean and to celebrate maritime history.
Describing Seafest as “the ploughing championships for marine”, Marine Institute’s chief executive Dr Peter Hefferan added it raised public awareness about the value of the marine resource “and the economic benefits our ocean provides to Galway and all of Ireland’s coastal communities.”
Chairman of Galway Port Company Maurice O’Gorman said the event was “unquestionably the best of its kind”.
Seafood will also be a major part of the programme with cookery and fishmonger demonstrations and a walk-in virtual reality stroll under the sea, organised by BIM and Bord Bia.
“Sustainabilty will be the key theme with informative exhibits explaining how fishermen around the coast are playing their part to reduce marine litter through BIM’s ‘Fishing for Litter’ initiative,” remarked Jim O’Toole, BIM chief executive.
An additional attraction will be the appearance of professional sailor Joan Mulloy, entrant in the single-handed ‘Solitaire du Figaro’ race in August. With the support of BIM, her boat will be promoting Ireland’s connection with the sea and seafood producers on BIM’s Taste the Atlantic – a Seafood Journey trail on the Wild Atlantic Way.
Seafest is supported by the Department of Defence, Galway city and county councils, Port of Galway, Galway Chamber, Irish Sailing, Údarás na Gaeltachta, The Village Salhill and Latin Quarter Galway.