June Bank Holiday Weekend Plans? Why Not Call into the Ballycotton Seafood and Shanty Festival

By Claire O'Donoghue

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Now in its 6th year, The Ballycotton Seafood and Shanty Festival takes place over the June Bank Holiday weekend. On Saturday, June 2 at 10pm every bar will be serving delectable “fishy bites” to customers, compliments of the village. Eateries in Ballycotton will offer Fishy Menu Specials all weekend. The main event is the Family Fun Day, which will take place on Sunday, June 3 at Ballycotton Pier from 2-5pm. The Festival promotes the importance of the cultural relevance and influence of the fishing and farming industry in the local community, while showing off the picturesque surrounds of Ballycotton Bay and village. The enthusiastic support of the entire community has made this a unique experience year on year, and showcases the versatility and simplicity of cooking with fish.

At 2pm, Rachel Allen will be taking up the skillet demonstrating some simple, delicious fish recipes. Rachel has been a wonderful ambassador and stalwart contributor to the initiative since her mother in law, Darina Allen, gave the first cookery demonstration back in 2013 in conjunction with the local Fisherman's Association. Joining Rachel,will be Chef Arun Kapul from Green Saffron Spices, who will put his culinary twist into proceedings. There will also be opportunities to learn how to make sushi and to properly fillet fish.

Food stalls will offer an abundant array of fresh, local produce from local producers. Pizza, fish 'n' chips, lobster, crepes, homemade cakes, cheese and much more are all on the menu for you the visitors, who won't go home hungry! Music by some shanty buskers and Youghal brigands Duffy's Cut, will be kicking off at 3pm to help you dance off any extra calories consumed on the day. Children’s entertainment and craft stalls will also be set up along the pier including Arts & Crafts with Ann from Eco Past (Shanagarry Design Centre) to inspire and captivate the younger children. Free ice cream will be awarded to all little Pirates and Mermaids on the day and spot prizes will also be up for grabs for the most convincing sea creatures! Other stalls include local charities and environmental topics to educate and entertain, such as D.A.W.G. and Cleaner Coasts Ballynamona.

Affordable BOAT TRIPS will be available from the harbour pontoon around the Ballycotton Lighthouse with Peter Manning Angling, Ballycotton Island Lighthouse Tours and Ballycotton Sea Adventures. Local heroes, Ballycotton Lifeboat crew and Ballycotton Coastguard, will be on hand sharing coastal advice and basic first aid demonstrations. One of the many highlights of the weekend is the grand finale “Crabby Derby” bringing the family fun day to a hilarious close at 5pm on Sunday.

Save the date in your calendar for some free, fishy themed, old-fashioned family fun.
Follow the Seafood and Shanty Ballycotton event page on Facebook for more information.

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