Newry Bathtub Race promises to be a fun-filled family day
For many years a novelty raft race called the Bath-Tub was a traditional summer event on the canal in the centre of Newry and generations of people remember it with fondness. After a lapse of 20 years the Newry & Portadown branch of the Inland Waterways Association of Ireland (IWAI) revived the race in 2010 with great success.
The third annual IWAI Bath-Tub takes place on Saturday 23rd June in Newry at 2pm. Branch vice chairman Paul McKeown spoke to Newry Times about the fun-filled event. “While the IWAI is committed to a complete restoration of the canal we also want to see the facilities that we already have used more. This event promotes that as well as celebrating the affection that local people have for the canal and our hopes for its future development.”
As part of the Bath-Tub event this year the IWAI has also organised a slide show and discussion, for young people, hosted by two canal historians – Sean Patterson and Brian Cassells – on Friday 22nd at 7.30pm in the Arts Centre. Paul McKeown continued: “The future of the canal and its restoration depends on our children taking an active role in it and the IWAI is keen to encourage them and engage their interest in the canal’s rich history.”
Winners of the junior race will receive the Alfred McCrum cup donated by a local Newry family to celebrate their long family history of working on the canal. The seniors compete for the Michael Waddell cup in memory of the Waddell family who were lock keepers near Poyntzpass for many generations. A third trophy for the Best Dressed is presented by Courtney’s restaurants.
The races are followed by a family fun day in McClelland park in Newry. The IWAI have teamed up with Sticky Fingers, the early years arts charity, to present an afternoon of free entertainment and water themed activities with a bouncy castle and barbeque.
McKeown added: “The IWAI invites everyone to come and join the fun, either by entering a raft in the race or cheering on the entrants as we celebrate a unique asset in our town.” For more details see our facebook page http://www.facebook.com/Newry.Portadown.Canal
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