KEEP your eyes on the skies this September as plans are no longer up in the air for a new festival over Lough Derg, as arrangements to showcase Mountshannon’s first air show are currently being firmed up.
The proposal for an air show was the brainchild of Rose Curtis of Harbour Flights, the seaplane operation based in Mountshannon and her concept was to develop a festival around an air show as a way to give something back to the local communities.
Likening it to the Riverfest Festival in Limerick City, Rose believes there is no reason why such a festival on the shores of Lough Derg would not be as successful if not more.
Speaking to The Clare Champion Rose said, “We are hoping to run the air show on Sunday, September 9 from 2.30pm to 5.30pm and are looking for some support from the local community councils to help make it an enjoyable weekend. Harbour Flights, in conjunction with Fáilte Ireland, Shannon Development and Waterways Ireland, are making the final preparations to hold the air display subject to weather and final approvals.”
A wide range of acts have already been provisionally booked among them seaplanes, jet aircraft and a selection of aerobatic aircraft that will guarantee a fantastic air spectacular, which will appeal to the whole family. The festival is a free event and there will be viewing locations across various points on the lakeshores, although the main display will be over the Mountshannon area.
“The intention of putting on this activity is to attract people from all locations across Ireland to Lough Derg and introduce them to what we believe is one of Ireland’s best-kept secrets. Previous air shows held in Galway and Bray have attracted large numbers of people and it is our intention not only to match these numbers but to increase them. As Lough Derg is the second largest lake in Ireland, it is hoped the air show will attract a large amount of cruiser owners from as far away as the six counties,” Rose added.
It is hoped it will become an annual event, which could be extended out over a three or five-day period taking in all of the towns and villages on the lake.
However, for the inaugural show, the organisers are hoping that community groups in neighbouring Mountshannon, Whitegate, Scariff and Tuamgraney will see the benefit that this can bring to the area and look this year to organise other land side activities that will make this a weekend event.
The initiative is being organised by Rose Curtis, Harbour Flights and their aviation consultant captain Kieran O’Connor and anyone who would like to get involved in the festival is asked to contact Rose by emailing email@example.com.