Ticket only on the quay for fireworks
FIVE thousand free tickets are being issued for those who wish to witness at close quarters the opening night speeches of the Wexford Festival Opera and the fireworks’ display on the quayfront on Thursday, October 19.
The free tickets, which will be issued from a variety of venues from Saturday (October 14), will be on a first-come, first-served basis and only people holding them will be admitted to the immediate quayfront area.
Wexford Festival Opera said that in the interests of keeping numbers at an acceptable level, the tickets ‘will be required to access the traditional main viewing point on the quayfront for the speeches and the fireworks’.
Festival chairman Ger Lawlor said ‘we’ve been working with the local authority to ensure safety on the opening night on the Quays, which has the railway line on one side and the water on the other.’
Mr Lawlor said he was working to ensure that next year’s opening would be bigger and better than this year’s.
The Festival’s Media Relations Manager Elizabeth Rose Browne said that following talks with County Hall it was agreed to introduce, on a trial basis, ‘these new crowd-friendly arrangements’ on the quay for this year.
She dismissed reports that issues surrounding a licenCe for the event had prompted the ticketing decision.
WEXFORD’S 66th Opera Festival will kick off in traditional style on the evening of Thursday, October 19, although you will need a ticket to get into the main quayfront viewing area to watch the festivities.
A total of 5,000 free tickets will be available for the traditional main viewing area on a firstcome, first-served basis.
The Festival will be officially opened by the Chair of the Arts Council Sheila Pratschke, followed by the traditional fireworks display over Wexford Harbour.
The festival opening will get under way at 7.15 p.m. with an address by the Mayor Councillor Jim Moore, and Chairman of Wexford Festival Ger Lawlor, followed by Ms Pratschke’s speech.
In response to the popularity of this local authority supported event, ‘crowd-friendly procedures’ have been introduced to increase people’s comfort and enjoyment of this community celebration.
Festival officials said that ‘in the interests of controlling numbers at a comfortable level’, free tickets will be required to access the traditional main viewing point on the quayfront for the speeches and the fireworks.
The tickets will be available from Saturday (October 14) from a number of venues, including from the National Opera House, the Wexford Borough District Council offices on Spawell Road, the Wexford County Council offices in Carricklawn, Wexford Arts Centre in Cornmarket, and the Spiegeltent Ticket Office on South Main Street.
Just drop in to any of these locations and collect your free tickets, which will be available on a first- come, first-served basis.
For those who decide to travel to the quay front for the speeches and fireworks, the usual traffic restrictions into Wexford town and along the quay front will be in force as in previous years, with the quays closed to traffic from 6 p.m., and Wexford Bridge closed from 7 p.m. Both will reopen at 8 p.m.
People who wish to view the fireworks from other areas are encouraged to visit other vantage points in Wexford town, which will not require a ticket, but will still provide a spectacular view of the fireworks and are far more convenient to access, especially for families with young children.
These officially recommended vantage points include: Wexford Golf Course, Mulgannon; St Peter’s College, Summerhill (front car park) and Sarsfields GAA Club, in Park.
As in previous years the Marine Officer has issued a vessel exclusion zone notice for Wexford Harbour on the night.
All skippers and vessel owners are requested to remove their vessels from the exclusion zone from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m, with access to the Ferrybank slipway limited to emergency vehicles only, and access to Ferrybank Quay limited to valid permit holders only.
Members of the public are requested not to park on the Quay or on the approach road.