BELLEEK Regatta returns in style this weekend for what will be a very special celebration.
Not only will this Sunday see the first Belleek Regatta to be held in two years, the day of celebration of local heritage will also mark 200 years of cot racing on the lough, and is being held in memory of the late, great Fred Ternan.
Speaking to the Herald, Andy Murie, chairman of the Belleek Development Heritage Group (BDHG) which has taken over the running of the regatta, said the event was “getting bigger and better” every year, and was continuing to grow in popularity.
With the event taking place on the Twelfth weekend, Mr Murie and the organisers are expecting spectators to flock to the village from far and wide.
While the boat racing is at the heart of the festivities, Mr Murie added there would be much more going on this weekend to celebrate the heritage of the village on the shores of the Erne.
“Not only are we running the regatta, we’re also building our own cots through the Belleek Men’s Shed,” he said, noting the importance of the event in preserving the skills of the past.
“We’ve a number of other events going on, there will be basket weaving going on, ironmongering, and soda farl making, we’ll have two guys pretend poteen making, kayaking, and lots of traditional music,” he continued.
“Then in Wark Hall there will also be an exhibition of old photographs of Belleek.”
With the event marking 200 years of cot racing on the Erne, there will also be a poignant aspect to this year’s regatta, with the BDHG commissioning a special Fred Ternan Cup for the occasion.
A dear friend to many in the village, Mr Ternan, who passed away earlier this year, had been instrumental in reviving cot racing on the Erne through his work at Lough Erne Heritage.
Mr Murie recalled how the idea to revive the Belleek Regatta in 2018 had come about after a visit from Mr Ternan, who he said “absolutely loved coming down to Belleek.” He said this weekend would be “a celebration of his life.”
Festivities kick off on Sunday, July 10th, at 12pm. Racing will beginning with the juniors, before moving on the senior races. For more information visit the Belleek Regatta page on Facebook.
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