Sculptors to make their mark at Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival

Sand sculptor Niall McGee puts the finishing touches to his work of art. Pictures: Patrick Browne

Ireland’s biggest water fight takes place on Duncannon Beach in Co Wexford this weekend.

The organisers of the 30th annual Duncannon Sand Sculpting Festival are hoping the water fight will go down in history like many a battle on the beach: Duncannon’s fort, which commands the bay, was involved in many wars and sieges during the 17th and 18th centuries.

The fort’s strategic importance was recognised by the famous French military and political leader, Napoleon Bonaparte — he sought and got intelligence on its strength and weaknesses.

Festival organiser, Cathy Dowling, said they had bought lots of water balloons for the water fight tomorrow.

Daniel Doyle’s sculpture is one of the many masterpieces displayed at the festival which kick offs today
Daniel Doyle’s sculpture is one of the many masterpieces displayed at the festival which kick offs today

“The balloons are produced in a way that we can fill 40 in one go. As they fill up, they drop off the hose and self-seal.”

Professional sand sculptors will create giant sand-sculpted masterpieces for the festival, which gets under way today.

After a family beach party with plenty of children’s entertainment, a massive fireworks display will light up the Hook Peninsula.

“It’s a lovely family fun festival because it gets the kids playing on the beach with their parents,” said Ms Dowling. The Sand Sculpture Tent will be open all day on Saturday, and there will be lots of games for all the family to join in on the beach, as well as the water fight.

Dutch sand sculptor Anique Kuizenga works on her sculpture. The festival promises to be fun for all the family
Dutch sand sculptor Anique Kuizenga works on her sculpture. The festival promises to be fun for all the family

The family fun continues on Sunday with the annual amateur sand sculpting competition — it is open to all ages, and there are prizes for ability and the best sand sculpture.

“The competitors will have seen what the professionals can do, and then they go out to the beach and have a go themselves,” said Ms Dowling.

Last year, 405 sand angels were created in a record-breaking bid. A previous sandcastle making challenge was to see how many could be made in an hour — everyone got dug in and built 572.


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