VISITORS to Arbroath’s Sea Fest were in for a treat at the weekend as the weather and the entertainment came together to create a wonderful family event.
On Saturday the sun beat down on the crowds thronging the many displays, stalls and carnival attractions, and Sunday, although cooler, still brought folk out in their thousands.
In fact, organisers believe they may have beaten previous attendance records, with upwards of 25,000 people visiting the attractions on offer at Arbroath harbour.
Chair of Arbroath Sea Fest committee, Marco Marcari was especially pleased with the turnout. He said: “Over 25,000 people came along to Arbroath Sea Fest at the weekend.
“The atmosphere on both days was fabulous, with a strong community feel to the whole event, and the members of the Sea Fest committee would like to give a heartfelt thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of Sea Fest.
“I’d also like to say a special thanks to everyone who came along to Sea Fest, the people of Arbroath for their enthusiasm and support and, of course, the hardworking members of Arbroath Sea Fest committee, who are all volunteers.”
There were stalls from a host of local organisations and companies, and visitors could buy anything from a glazed ceramic animal to a fancy Italian coffee made to order.
With such good weather on hand there were plenty of people queueing up for a sight-seeing trip out to the cliffs.
Another popular attraction was the 110 year old restored Fife herring drifter ‘Reaper’ which was on loan from the core collection of the Scottish Fisheries Museum, Anstruther.
Of particular note was the performance by sea-shanty revivalists ‘Kimber’s Men’, who performed a collection of traditional songs of the sea beneath the red sails of the Reaper.
Other historic fishing vessels were berthed at the harbour, courtesy of the North East Maritime Trust.
Peter Weightman, of the Maritime Trust explained it hadn’t been all plain sailing after navigating heavy fog for six hours to get to Arbroath.
He said: “But it was worth it! We had a lovely time at Sea Fest and welcomed a great many visitors to Sovereign, Rachel Douglas and Favourite, including several fishermen who really appreciated seeing traditional fishing boats in Arbroath Harbour.”
As part of the entertainment the Arbroath lifeboat crew put on a demonstration of their life-saving skills.
RNLI ‘Inchcape’ was launched to the delight of spectators clustered at the slipway, and all were surprised to see an unlikely trio of superheroes at the prow, namely Batman, Sonic The Hedgehog and Bananaman.
Meanwhile, an x-boat was rowed out to the beach to rescue a crew member who was playing possum and the Inchcape manouvred into position to accept the casualty.
The crew ably demonstrated the importance of teamwork as they secured the casaulty, set up a bouy and winch system and used a flare to signal from shore that the rescue could begin.
Watching the demonstration was vice-president of Arbroath Ladies’ Lifeboat Guild, Maureen Morrison, who was full of praise for the crew.
She said: “It’s just been an absolutely brilliant weekend. We’ve got such a wonderful crew just now.
“The crew have always been great, but at the moment we have some young and very enthusiastic guys on board.”
Plans are already underway for next year’s spectacle, and the organisers will have a tough time following up their success this year.
Marco said: “All in all, Sea Fest was an incredibly successful weekend and surpassed all our expectations.”