Zoey Mangan (3) and Ayla O'Malley (4) from Edenderry are all set to welcome back the colourful canal boats to Edenderry
The vibrant boating community are making a very welcome return to Edenderry this Easter weekend for the Edenderry Harbour Festival.
Edenderry was once a popular destination for boaters and the canal was a bustling local economy since 1802. The Edenderry Chamber of Commerce has been working closely with The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland since last October and have now formally announced that the boats are back in town for the Edenderry Harbour Festival on April 20 from 12-4pm.
The highlight of the event will be a beautiful procession or ‘flotilla’ of boats down the canal and into the harbour. Boaters are coming from all over the country but particularly from Hazelhatch, Sallins, Robertstown, Naas, Tullamore, Athlone and Dublin. Some will spend two weeks making their way to the festival, aptly named ‘the fleet to the peat’ by the boating community.
The whole harbour area in Edenderry will be a feast for the senses as music from local bands and dance troupes fill the air and various food and market vendors sell their wares. Face painters, bouncy castles, roaming characters and entertainers will keep the children busy and the boaters will have information boards on display, a rare Bollinder engine display and various ecological and historical walks.
Pubs and restaurants around Edenderry will also join the fun so we can look forward to some Skipper Stews, Boatman’s Breakfast, Deckman’s Dessert and much more with music and trad sessions all over town.
"Edenderry has always been a popular destination for boaters over the years and the town has so much to offer. The festival will give a platform to highlight what is good in Edenderry and why it is a must stop for anyone on the Grand Canal trip, be it boater, walker or fisherman," Edenderry Chamber said.
The canal harbour and bank with new tarmac surface, a very popular route for walkers, joggers and strollers, looks splendid thanks to the work from the Tidy Towns committee and CE Scheme Workers.
PICTURED: Edenderry Harbour busy with boats in 2018
"The return of the boats is just one more indication that positive change is in the offing, that Edenderry is on the way back and of a community working together to do the very best they can for their town."
"The Edenderry Harbour Festival is an opportunity to give the boating community a very warm Edenderry welcome, encourage them to come back during the season and position the town as a ‘Gateway to the Hidden Heartlands.'"