It’s Splash of the Day: Could this year’s Duck Dive be the last one?

The annual Duck Dive takes place at the Herring Pond, Portstewart, on St Patricks Day.
The annual Duck Dive takes place at the Herring Pond, Portstewart, on St Patricks Day.

This week’s Portstewart Duck Dive, held on St Patrick’s Day, could be the last, as Coleraine Times online revealed last week.

The current organising committee have been handling the St Patrick’s Day event for over 20 years - and now new volunteers are needed to take the long-running fundrasiser for the RNLI forward.

The Duck Dive was first conceived back in the early eighties by George McCann and the late Len Forbes who handed the event over to the present team about 20 years ago.

The 2016 event - which raises money for Portrush Lifeboat Station - will go ahead as usual with divers jumping into the Portstewart Herring Pond wearing fancy dress or swimming costumes on Thursday at 1pm.

Sponsorship money collected by participants will go to the Portrush Lifeboat Station which supports both ‘Severn Class’ and ‘D Class’ vessels.

Prizes kindly donated by local businesses for the best costumes, are awarded after the event at the Duck Dive Party at Shenanigan’s complex in Portstewart where there is free Irish stew for participants and live music.

There will also be a raffle with prizes, again donated by local businesses.

The amount of money raised has increased from a few hundred pounds in the early Eighties to several thousands in recent years with the total amount raised over the past 20 years in excess of £60,000.

An added attraction this year there will be free pizza for participants at pool side by Kargo 56.

Sponsorship forms are available at the Portstewart Arms, The Anchor Bar, Shenanigans and Portstewart Burger Club.

Also on St. Patrick’s Day, the annual Ballycastle and District Horse Ploughing Championship will take place.

A traditional event for more than 100 years, it promises to be fun for all the family with many skilled ploughmen taking part and a great bank holiday atmosphere.

Children and adults alike will enjoy the fun and excitement at Hezlett House as leprechauns have escaped from the trees of Downhill and hidden themselves around the house.

To join in with the Leprechaun Hunt and discover the fascinating story of Hezlett House, come along on March 17 from 10am to 4pm.

Meanwhile The Ullans Centre at Main Street, Ballymoney) is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day celebration on Wednesday, March 16, between 11am -and 1pm.

There will be a variety of different events such as poetry reading, dancing, music and food.

Everyone is welcome to go along and enjoy the fun.