What are YOUR thoughts on Portaferry Gala?

It’s that time of year again when we remind everyone about the “Gala Feedback Form” – it’s on this site all year round and you can find it by clicking here and filling out the feedback form.
Are there events you would like to see lasting longer?
Are there events you feel are past their sell by date?
Are there events you would like to see take place in the future?

Please do have a think and fill out the form – it’s YOUR festival for YOUR town, so do have YOUR say.

Float Night 2018

As people are now aware, the bar owners, whose pubs provide the float attractions for the Portaferry Gala float parade, approached the Gala Committee about moving the Floats to Saturday afternoon. This request was submitted towards the end of last year at the Gala AGM. As a new committee was only being elected, they requested more information and time to discuss the matter.

The new Committee was again approached in January of this year, with the same proposal. The committee listened to the reasons for the change, discussions took place on the pros and cons of the move, but as the Pub Owners were determined to move to Saturday, the committee voted to go along with the request and support it.

However, following the EGM on Wednesday 4th of April, representation was made, on behalf of the same owners, to move the Float Parade back to Friday night. The new Directors voted to go along with this request, and so Float Night 2018 will now take place on Friday July 20th 2018.

We apologise to those who may have booked leave or accommodation, based on the published day of Saturday, but as the pubs do supply the floats, there was little the Directors of the Portaferry Gala Festival could do. The alternative would have been to cancel the event altogether.





Gala EGM

Over 70 people attended the Gala EGM in the Market House on April 4th. Following the election of a new board of Directors, by the members present, the new Directors have formally taken on the running of Portaferry Gala Festival. Thanks to everyone who attended tonight and for the interest show in Portaferry Gala Festival. The new Directors would like to sincerely thank all outgoing Officers for their dedication to Gala and for all their hard work over the 50th festival week.

Float Saturday

In response to feedback received on facebook over the last 24 hours, regarding the change of Float Day from Friday to Saturday, the Gala Committee would like to explain that on the 16th of November 2017, the pubs collectively proposed the Float Parade be moved to Saturday afternoon.

No decision was made, as the new committee was yet to be elected.

(18 people had registered an interest in joining the committee and the Facebook post, about the AGM, received 8 “shares”)

On the night, no new potential members attended and the committee was reduced to 10 members.

Following the AGM our Christmas Event was given priority.

On Dec 29th 2017, a message was posted, on our official website, asking people to attend a meeting to discuss Gala 2018. The meeting was to take place on 3rd of January at 7pm in the Market House.

838 people viewed the post on the website between December 30th and Jan 3rd. To put this in perspective, the Gala Website had 30,000 unique visitors in 2017, and a total of 233, 629 page views.

It is a very active site.

No feedback to the post was received. The committee members and the Pub representatives were in attendance.

Following a lengthy discussion of the pro’s and con’s, those in attendance agreed to the 2018 Float Parade moving to Saturday July the 21st.

The rational behind the decision is, to
acknowledge the positive approach from local Publicans, who finance the floats, to increase additional access for families and others, both locally and further afield, a day parade allows for an extended programme on the day, this will contribute to social and economic benefits. To increase footfall as Tourism use this as a criteria for funding. Enables floats to return to their base during daylight and the “floaters” will be able to enjoy the remainder evening entertainment. Importantly, Portaferry will be able to promote itself as a place visitors will want to return to more than once a year.
The day long offer will stagger the influx of people avoiding congestion of previous years and and an earlier finish will reduce the late night incidents experienced by volunteers while cleaning the Square.

In conclusion we thank you for your feedback and we would encourage everyone to feel free to volunteer their time for the benefit of all our Community. Keep an eye out for the next open meeting as other changes to the festival programme will be necessary.

To confirm, Gala Fest 2018 will run from Sunday July 15th to Saturday the 21st.

Local businesses have been approached and when informed of the changes, all have agreed to co-operate and in response to their collective suggestions the Parade is proposed to start at 3pm.

We genuinely feel it will be a positive move and will secure the future of Gala for years to come.

Float Saturday in 2018

Following community feedback and as we move into our 51st year, the Portaferry Gala Float Parade will be moving to Saturday afternoon in 2018. This will see our event become a major weekend tourist attraction for the Portaferry area. It will start at 2pm and will be followed by a family friendly event on the Saturday evening.

Gala 2018 will run Sunday July the 15th to Saturday July 21st.

More details will appear on our official website as they are confirmed.

Merry Christmas from Portaferry

A big thanks to Portaferry Integrated and St Mary’s Primary Schools, who sang at the Christmas Lights Switch on.


Listen to Portaferry Integrated Primary:

Listen to St Mary’s:

A big “Thank You” to the Mayor Robert Adair for pressing the big button to light up our tree.

And, of course, to Santa for dropping by…at this busy
time of year.



Gala AGM

Our AGM, took place on Thursday, November the 16th.

The committee would encourage anyone interested in Gala to keep an eye on this site, as much help as possible is needed every year. From setting up barriers, making sandwiches, event managing etc..

Any further enquiries, please email secretary@portaferrygala.com