Dublin's thriving Docklands area is the place to be this June Bank Holiday weekend, with the seventh annual Docklands Maritime Festival running from 4th of June to 7th of June 2010.
With a record 150,000 visitors to last year's Festival, this year's event takes place on the north and south quays of the river Liffey with attractions for all ages. The river will be a buzz of activity and the tall ship, the Jeanie Johnston, will welcome visiting tall ships, Artemis, Bessie Ellen, Notre Dame de Rumengol and the Irish naval vessel L.E Aoife, giving visitors the chance to experience first hand what life on the ocean waves is like. Dublin's river tour service, the Liffey River Cruise, will be in operation offering relaxing cruises along the river.
Alongside the stunning tall ships, there will be plenty of entertainment for all the family including a breathtaking array of street theatre, musical entertainment and amusements all creating a fun carnival atmosphere. New to this year's festival is Bui Bolg from Co. Wexford, who are experts in the field of spectacle and street theatre. Bringing pirates, sea horses and stilt-walking Dublin Bay prawns to the riverside, Bui Bolg offer a combination of originality, impeccable professionalism, a unique sense of humor with just a touch of mischief to add to the magic! Conor Lambert's Custard Pie Puppet Theatre will perform four free puppet shows a day in the chq building to keep the younger visitors amused!
Music acts on the riverside include the bubblegum American sounds of the Andrews Sisters with The Bugle Babes who will perform on the Friday evening and Monday lunchtime of the festival. Gypsy Jazz Quartet and The Swinging Blue Cats return again this year with their jazzy, jive and swing numbers and will be joined by The Roaring Forties from Cork who will bring their own blend of jazz and swing. Brand new this year is ‘Soul Purpose,' a six piece band who will deliver some timeless soul and funk music on the quayside, and ‘Roots and Rye' a Dublin based five piece country and roots band. Tango Ireland will bring the south campshires alive during the festival with free performances of this popular and sophisticated dance from Argentina.
In the water, swimmers from all over Dublin will take part in the annual Docklands Swim, which takes place on Saturday, 5th June during the Docklands Maritime Festival. This challenging 1.1 kilometre swim is organised by the NAC Masters Swimming Club and is the first swim of a series of 30 races over the Summer. The best viewing areas will be from the Sean O'Casey and Samuel Beckett Bridges. The Coast Guard and RNLI will also be on hand to add to the maritime activity and on Sunday, June 6th the Coast Guard Helicopter will to do a fly over along the Liffey and perform a mock water rescue.
The Festival will also feature the biggest (and best!) outdoor market in the city, with a fabulous selection of crafts, clothing, jewellery, paintings, flowers and plants, as well as the mouth-watering gourmet meats, cheeses and breads.
Luas is partnering with the Docklands Authority to offer 10,000 free tickets over the June Bank Holiday weekend to celebrate the opening of the extension of the red line to Dublin's Docklands. With 4 stops just minutes walk away, there's no better way to travel to the Docklands Maritime Festival. The Docklands Maritime Festival takes place from 4th to 7th June, 2010. Opening hours are from 1pm Friday 4th to 10 pm, Saturday 5th 10am to 10pm, Sunday 6th 10am to 8pm and Monday 7th 10am to 6pm. No tickets required.