Crowds left waiting and waiting and waiting for Cannonball spectacle 18/09/16 : the

Crowds left waiting and waiting and waiting for Cannonball spectacle 18/09/16

| September 18, 2016

Cannonball Run             7    cmyk

They came in their thousands to Wexford Quays on Sunday evening to witness the spectacle of a concluding stage of the Cannonball run.

Both sides of the quays were lined with people several deep even before the appointed time of 6pm and for a very long time it appeared as if the only thing they had come for was to be a captive audience for the bucket collectors who were trying to extract money from their pockets for this year’s chosen charity, Pieta House.

The Cannonball features some really expensive and fabulous classic cars taking a route around the country over a couple of days in September.

The end of the stage is set up to look a bit like a Formula One circuit with all the razzmatazz that entails.

Given that it involves cars it particularly attracts young men and most of them seemed to take their female partners along to be impressed by the sight of such wonderful specimens on four wheels.

But the appeal of the event does span the ages with hundreds of children waiting patiently for the powerful motors to arrive.

One of the main sponsors this year was the manufacturer of Popcorn and they had a truck load of their produce to give away to the waiting crowds. And hand it out they did, by the box load but on more than one occasion the strong winds which prevailed got hold of the popcorn boxes and dozens of popcorn  bags sailed through the air.

By 6.30pm there was still no sign of the cars. Mayor Frank Staples arrived and that provided hope that the Cannonball might not be too far away. But the Mayor, it seems, was as much in the dark about the timing as anyone else.

He stood alone on the viewing platform in the piercing wind for about ten minutes before abandoning his position.

Checkered flags were offered to the children to add to the atmosphere.  You had to fork out €2 to collect one and many did.

As the clock ticked on past seven o’clock the bucket collectors marched through the crowds again. Then there was a bit of excitement as a few scantily clad dancing girls marched along the route.

They posed for photographs with people in the crowd to the delight of some of the young males.

In the end just before 7.30pm there was the sound of sirens, roaring engines and flashing blue lights as the cavalcade finally emerged around Crescent Quay.

To say the cars were spectacular in no way adequately describes what was on view. There were all sorts makes and models of vehicles but the one thing they had in common was they were really impressive.

The faces of the children in particular lit up as the cars roared by while many of the young males looked on rather enviously thinking  of how they would mightily impress the ladies if they could get their hands on such a machine.

However, the final atmosphere was maybe a little flatter than it should have been caused no doubt by the very long delay. Throughout the 90 minutes that the crowd waited there was not a single announcement of explanation even though the organisers knew from before 6pm that the event would not arrive in Wexford until well after 7pm.

That was really not a very satisfactory way to treat a loyal following.

And spare a thought for all those Council employees who had to clear up thousands of popcorn bags from the quays on Monday morning.

Category: Entertainment, Featured Articles