Seashore and Folklore – Westport’s parade with an important message

On Sunday 2nd October as part of the Westport Arts Festival the annual parade will bring together the whole community telling a tale of maritime heritage and folklore and impacting a vital message of marine pollution.


The theme of this years parade is Seashore and Folklore. Through a stunning visual spectacle the parade will weave the legendary tale of Cathal and Macha, the story of  how the first harp was made from the rib bone of a beached whale.

The parade is a collaboration of the whole community and has a powerful and vital message about tackling the pollution of our oceans. Pollution of our oceans has fast become a huge problem and we desperately need to turn the tide against ocean pollution.  Creating a parade around and championing this message is a great way to get people interested and take noticed.

Local school children from nine different schools will be leading the parade of sound, harps and dance. The educational team from Leave No Trace have been coming in to talk to the pupils about the importance of looking after the environment. Some of the children have been busy creating beautiful pieces to be used in the parade from recycled materials – breathing new life and creativity to plastic waste.

A highlight of the parade will be a giant 20-foot 13-foot-high dancing whale made by local artists Tom Meskel and Gerr Sweeney called ‘Gráinne Whale’, a gentle nod to a certain local pirate queen.

The festival runs the 28th – 2nd of October with plenty of music, theatre and family events happening about the town. Check out their website for all the events.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22