Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has been celebrating the unprecedented success of the weekend’s events in Carrickfergus to bid Bon Voyage to the Tall Ships.
The spectacular aerial display by the famous Red Arrows – that followed a fly-past over the ships docked in Belfast – brought genuine exclamations of delight from many of the 32,000 who poured into the seaside town to enjoy the big day.
Even the sometimes poor weather failed to dampen spirits for the throngs who lined every available viewing point along the Marine Highway, the harbour and even the iconic Castle’s battlements as the Red Arrows swept across the skies, in close formation and often – it seemed - perilously close to the historic caste keep.
Mid and East Antrim Borough Council had also laid on entertainment for children with a range of play activities on the Green, as parents watched as the Tall Ships themselves set sail along the Lough, on route to Ballycastle and this week’s major race event which began today (Monday).
The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe was also on hand to witness the spectacle and meet another ‘iconic’ figure, Squadron Leader Mike Ling who is the Red Arrows’ supervisor for all displays as well as to provide commentary.
Cllr Ashe commented: “This was the best attendance we have ever had at any Council-run event.
“It brought thousands of people to the town, brought trade for local businesses and restaurants and bars and of course, a great deal of pleasure to the many family groups who thronged the seafront to view the Tall Ships and marvel at the aerial acrobatics of the Red Arrows.”