This Saturday, 11 August, Bangor County Down will be reliving its heyday as a prominent coastal resort with Seaside Revival – a celebration of all things vintage, local and seaside inspired.
The FREE event is the first key landmark in a three-year project led by Open House Festival and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Great Place scheme, that aims to re-establish Bangor as a thriving seaside town. It will be held on the second weekend of the 6th annual month-long Open House Festival Bangor
Seaside Revival Day
Throughout the afternoon, the seafront area from the McKee Clock around to Skipperstone Beach, just beyond the old Pickie Pool site, will be celebrating the music, dancing and lifestyle of Bangor’s past, from the 1920s Victorian sea bathing era, through to the dancehall days of the 1940s and 50s.
As well as live music on the Revival Stage from the likes of The Riviera Swing Band and the Saberjets, Ireland’s best Rockabilly band, attractions will include a vintage flea market, a fashion show by Living Vintage, a vintage car show and boot sale, street entertainment and a See Make & Do tent with, amongst other things, a sewing station, poetry workshops, upcycling demonstrations and an artefacts exhibition. A vintage double decker bus will host a talk by local historian, Peter Vanucci, about Bangor’s Italian families. There’ll also be a Gin Emporium and vintage-style food stalls, as well as prizes for the Best Dressed Lady and Man, and the Best Dressed Window in the town centre.
Open House Festival
Open House Festival Manager, Alison Gordon, said: “The Seaside Revival project is really significant for us and for the town. We’re expecting thousands of people to visit Bangor on Saturday, and have so much to offer them. We’re really excited about our 1920s Picnic and Splash at Skipperstone Beach, the site of the ladies bathing area in Victorian times. There’ll be lots of swimmers dressed in Victorian costume, and a very special Vinyl DJ set from Duke Special. We’ve also got a Conversation Caravan – a specially renovated caravan where we’ll be recording people’s memories of Bangor’s bygone days.”
Social designer and Bangor lover, Wayne Hemingway, has provided advice and support to the event and the overall project.
Paul Mullan, Head of HLF NI, said: “It’s fantastic to see the local community get behind this event to showcase their town and use its rich heritage to help attract new visitors and re-position it as a vibrant, energetic seaside destination for the future. We are delighted to support this Great Place using money raised by National Lottery players, and hope everyone enjoys this first Seaside Revival.”
Bucket Loads To Do
Fringe Seaside Revival events during the Festival include: a Seaside Stories themed Tenx9 storytelling event in the Marine Court Hotel on Friday 9th; Bangor Rocks, a musical bus tour of Bangor taking in the birth places and stomping grounds of its musical sons and daughters on Sunday 12th and Sunday 19th; and Seaside Stomp – a WW2 inspired dance event in the British Legion on Friday 17th, celebrating the spring of 1944 when an influx of US marines descended on the town.
Seaside Revival – Bangor by the Sea is funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund. The supporting partners are: Ards and North Down Borough Council, Bangor Chamber of Commerce, Boom! Studios, North Down Community Network, North Down Development Organisation, and Main Street My Street. The event starts at 1pm and runs through to 6pm.