Organisers of the Arbroath Sea Fest has hailed this year’s event as a success, with thousands of people enjoying the weekend events.
Arbroath Sea Fest Committee, the team of local volunteers who dedicate hours of time, expertise and hard work to arranging the weekend-long event, revealed that they were delighted by the high numbers attracted to the event on both days. Although figures are still to be finalised due to the introduction of a more accurate way of counting attendance (numbered wristbands), the Committee is hopeful that final figures will show that over 20,000 people came along to the 20th Arbroath Sea Fest.
The reintroduction of the Fisher Wedding was undoubtedly one of the highlights of Arbroath Sea Fest 2016. A large audience gathered to watch Thomson Leng Musical Society’s excellent recreation of The Fisher Wedding, which was an important part of early Arbroath Sea Fests.
A cookery demonstration by top chef and proud Red Lichtie Jamie Scott was another highlight. Jamie said: “It’s always good to cook in front of an appreciative audience who love good food, especially in my home town.”
The packed programme also included opportunities to listen to local bands, find out more about local charities, organisations and businesses, watch or participate in a variety of activities, try and buy local seafood, go on board traditional fishing vessels or head out to sea on a boat trip. Other activities included the highly-popular raft race across the marina, the Sea Fest Strongman and Strongwomen competitions and the hotly-contested pie eating contest.
The Sea Fest Committee explained that, as well as raising the profile of Arbroath and providing an excellent method of promotion for businesses and organisations across Angus, Sea Fest also boosts the local economy, with spin-offs for pubs, restaurants, hotels, taxis and shops in the Arbroath Area.
However, as the costs involved in putting on a large scale community event such as Arbroath Sea Fest are considerable, the Committee stressed that the support of local people, charities, organisations and businesses is vital – and very much appreciated. As a result, local organisations which assist in the running of Sea Fest, such as Arbroath Rugby Club, Arbroath Sea Cadets and Arbroath Air Cadets always receive a donation from Sea Fest as a way of saying ‘Thank you’.
As always, Arbroath RNLI Lifeboat crew and Ladies Guild were an integral part of Arbroath Sea Fest 2016, with the sight of the Lifeboat racing down the slipway into the sea proving irresistible to Sea Fest’s many visitors. In addition, the RNLI crew sold hot dogs and cold drinks, while Arbroath RNLI Ladies Guild did a roaring trade in cream teas, all helping to boost the fundraising coffers for this vitally important charity.
And the RNLI isn’t the only charity to benefit from Arbroath Sea Fest. Over the last twenty years, Arbroath Sea Fest has been a huge asset to local and national charities and is estimated to have generated well over £100,000 of charity fundraising over the last twenty years.
With Sea Fest 2016 over, the Sea Fest Committee is, once again, on the lookout for new members and new ideas to ensure the annual festival remains one of the top events in the east of Scotland. Arbroath Sea Fest Committee has an open door policy and is always happy to welcome visitors or new members, with the next meeting taking place on September 6, 2016 at Mackay’s Boatyard Office, Arbroath Harbour.