1940’s Nostalgia at this weekends Sea Bangor D-Day commemoration

THE City of Bangor will be a hive of activity this weekend with Sea Bangor (June 1st to 2), a free-to-attend maritime festival which features a 1940s themed programme to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day Landings.

Organised by Ards and North Down Borough Council, the festival is open from midday until 6pm on Saturday and 1pm to 6pm on Sunday. A programme of music acts including The Leading Ladies and Soda Popz will bring a nostalgic feel to the city.

Adding to the nostalgia will be a new feature for this year’s festival which will have a 1940s dance hall and milk bar. South Eastern Regional College (SERC) Performing Arts students will be dressed in 1940s style outfits and have been working hard on their dancing routines. They are excited about performing in their local city and visitors can see them dance in the stretch tent or grab a selfie with them as they do walkabouts in their 1940s clothing.

There will be something for all the family with maritime activities as well as funfair rides, food demos, local food and drink stalls, hot food trucks, an outdoor bar, and try a brand new cherry blossom flavoured ice cream at the Glastry Farm milk bar.

Quay Street car park will have a distinct holiday atmosphere with lots of 1940s themed fun while Eisenhower Pier will host some fantastic food demos at the Demo Kitchen where chefs from SERC will create tasty dishes. Walkabout entertainers and traditional Punch and Judy shows will entertain families and kids can complete the Sea Bangor City Passport by visiting participating retailers. Collect all 14 stamps to receive a prize.

On-the-water activities include pre-bookable ‘have a go’ kayaking and paddleboarding sessions, or find out about the crucial role that Bangor had to play in preparation for the D-Day Landings with a Bangor Bay D-Day boat trip. Limited tickets are still available.

If you prefer keeping your feet firmly on dry land, watch the rowing competitions as local teams and military teams battle for victory. Head to Eisenhower Pier to see the e-foiling demonstrations (2.45pm and 5.10pm) or visit Seacliff Road to watch the Artemis eFoiler – the world’s first 100% electric commercial workboat – in action at 2pm and 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Mayor of Ards and North Down, Jennifer Gilmour, said: “There are lots of different activities available to keep everyone entertained. With a fabulous 1940s theme, Bangor will be a bustling hive of activity. Sea Bangor, together with the D-Day 80 Commemorative event, will provide an excellent opportunity for families to come together and enjoy a fabulous festival at the same time as having an opportunity to reflect during this important anniversary.”

The D-Day 80 Commemorative event takes place on Sunday at the McKee Clock Arena between 11am and 1pm. A Drumhead Service will be held in the Arena while The Band, Bugles, Pipes and Drums of the Royal Irish Regiment will perform a Beating Retreat. Guns will be fired from the Long Hole by the Royal Artillery and a medal ceremony will take place for 591 (AA) Field Squadron, Royal Engineers, on their return from Operation TOSCA Cyprus. Following the Service, the Sea Bangor festival will reopen from 1pm to 6pm.

To facilitate Sea Bangor, Quay Street Car Park is currently closed and will reopen on Wednesday, June 5. The event will have four on-site supervised recycling stations where visitors will be encouraged to dispose of their waste. Recycling stations have been successfully used at several events and have resulted in a substantial increase in the amount of recyclable waste being diverted from landfill.

For more information, including advice on parking and travelling to the event, go to visitardsandnorthdown.com/seabangor.