Some of the contestants at the launch of the Queen Of The Sea Festival 2018 in Youghal which will be starting on Friday 13h of July and finishing on Sunday 15th July, all in aid of Youghal RNLI and Youghal Cardiac First Responders. See Youghal Queen Of The Sea Facebook page for more details. Picture: John Hennessy.

On Thursday, 28 June, the Youghal Queen of the Sea Festival was officially launched in Farrell's Summerfield Bar. There is great hype surrounding the Festival, now in its 9th year, as it always delivers a great family fun weekend for locals and visitors alike. The programme of events taking place over the weekend of July 13-15 has something for those of all ages and interests, from the exciting physical endurance competition of the Aquavelo, to open air gig-rig concerts and a wide array of children's activities. “This year”, said committee “member Padraig Sheehan, “the Festival hosts the usual fun and spectacle of previous years because, the Committee feels, if it ain’t broke, don't fix it!”
The main event, of course, is the crowning of the new Queen of the Sea. Beautiful, charming and talented girls representing various local businesses will be setting out to regale and impress the four judges with an interview and public introduction. The four judges this year are; REDFM's Brenda Dennehy, Model Agency Owner – Jennifer O'Driscoll, Former Deputy Mayor of Cork, Ken O 'Flynn and previous contestant of the UK's The Voice, Claudia Rose. Brief interviews with the Queens will take place on Friday evening with Judge Brenda Dennehy live on the gig rig. The crowning of the new Queen will take place on the Saturday from 7pm.

The main action over the weekend will take place on Nealon's Quay, with other activities scheduled in various venues including - free entry night to Youghal Greyhound Track on Friday from 8pm; the Dulux dog visiting Cal Flavin's Topline Store on Saturday from 12-2pm; the Queen's VIP ticketed event in the Quay's Bar on Saturday from 9.30pm followed by the Queen of the Sea party in the nightclub. There will also be an Open RNLI Day in the Lifeboat Station on Sunday from 12-5pm and all are welcome, and Feis Ceol Rince in the Mall Arts Centre on Saturday at 11am.
This year's event incorporates the Youghal Food Festival which takes place through the Saturday and Sunday, with food and craft stalls offering delicious treats to keep tummies full and energy levels up so that all the family can enjoy the weekend’s activities and displays.
Safety demonstrations by local heroes from the Fire Station, Coastguard and Lifeboat, will demonstrate and give an appreciation to the public of the training and dedication it takes to be involved in these critical, voluntary services.
The music bookings this year are nothing short of amazing. A local group “New Bedford” including Richie Foley, Mark and Keith Ansbro, Simon Daly and Kieren Ahern will grace the gig rig on Friday evening from 9pm. New Bedford, of course, the adopted name of Youghal back in 1954 when filming Moby Dick. They offer a mix of modern, trad and Bluegrass music. Saturday will be absolutely packed with music from Ceolta Sí at 3pm, followed by Claudia Rose at 4.30pm, Irish Karaoke Champion Barry Darcy at 5.30pm and the fantastic Bee Gees Tribute will be ‘jive talkin’ at 9pm – all performing on the gig rig. Sunday music entertainment starts at 3pm with Colin and Mark, followed by “Real Zesty Lemons” at 4.30 and the ever-popular Bagatelle will be “Singing a Song I Heard Somewhere” and closing out the Festival with a concert from 6.30pm.
And, if all the above, plus crab fishing, fancy dress and sand castle competitions, Chatterbox stage school display, dog shows and much more, weren't enough – there's the Triathlon Ireland's Aquavelo National Championships consisting of a 1500m swim and 36.5km cycle starting on Saturday from 7.30am. Be sure to come along and cheer on all the competitors (they'll need the extra support if this heat wave continues!)
Pick up your copy of the Programme of Events at the Festival headquarters in Youghal Tourist Office and around town so that you don't miss a thing over this bumper weekend in Youghal's Summer calendar.