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  • Northside East

Southern Cross Festival set for take-off 

Wednesday, 12th June, 2019 1:00pm
Southern Cross Festival set for take-off 

Anthony Ennis, dressed as Charles Kingsford Smith, will be doing MC on the day. He is pictured with Alvis Crawford from the organising committee.

Southern Cross Festival set for take-off 

Anthony Ennis, dressed as Charles Kingsford Smith, will be doing MC on the day. He is pictured with Alvis Crawford from the organising committee.

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FOR many people, Portmarnock is a place to visit when the sun is splitting the stones: three miles of wonderful beach and shallow, safe sea, a haven on a hot day.

However, almost 90 years ago Portmarnock made world news as the historic flight of the Southern Cross plane used the three miles of smooth sand as a runway. 

When Dublin Airport was still a gleam in someone’s eye, thousands turned up to the beach that morning in June 1930. They came to witness and cheer on Charles Kingsford Smith and his crew on their historic, ground breaking flight, the very first completed flight from Europe to New York.

Portmarnock locals have been celebrating their unique place in world aviation history for several years with a festival. 

This year’s Southern Cross Festival will take place on Sunday, June 16 at two venues: the regular garden party/musical tribute in the gardens of the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links and a Pop-Up Hedge School in the parish Centre in Portmarnock village. 

Aviation experts will also be based at the Southern Cross monument ready to explain the significance of this amazing flight. 

The latter event was a fantastic success last year and local historians and aviation experts will again be on hand to share their specialist knowledge. Watch out for a surprise appearance of ‘Charles Kingsford Smith’, complete in his flying outfit.

Again this year, festival organisers have hired a 1930s bus complete with a bus conductor who, hopefully, will entertain you with not just the history of the flight but also the contents of the string bag he is taking back for his 1930s tea!

To complete the picture of life at the time several local traders are joining in the fun. There will be displays and storyboards outside their shops presenting aspects of life in the 1930s. So if you have a yearning for some crubeens make your way to Smith’s!

The bus will run between the beach and the village for three hours and will stop to enable those dressed up for the day to have authentic photographs taken.

The bus only holds 12 so people are asked to be patient. The fare is one euro.

A spokesperson for the festival committee said: “All these celebrations would not be possible without the continued support of both the daa and the Portmarnock Hotel and Golf Links, whose commitment to community affairs is wonderful. Fingal County Council are behind the event and their grant enables it to extend and take off in other directions.

The Hedge School opens its doors at 12noon and the music starts at 2.30pm. The displays in the village are expected to be ready by 11.30am and the bus will run from 1pm to 4pm.

The Southern Cross Festival attracts talented local musicians every year.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here