The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company pulled out all the stops to ensure the hugely popular Continental Food and Craft Fair went ahead in Douglas.
The fair, featuring an array of products from across Europe, opened in Castle Street and Marina Road on August 24 and remains open until September 1, providing an extra attraction for locals and visitors, including race fans attending the Isle of Man Festival of Motorcycling.
Always keen to support local events, the Steam Packet Company was eager to ensure everything needed for the fair made it to the Island, but coming at one of the busiest times of the year it presented a logistical challenge for freight staff.
The equipment for the fair needed to be transported during the two-week Festival of Motorcycling, which incorporates the Manx Grand Prix, Classic TT and associated events, when Ben-my-Chree and Manannan were already carrying a large number of passengers, cars and bikes.
Commercial Director John Watt explained: “The Festival of Motorcycling fortnight, which includes the MGP, is, along with the TT, one of our busiest periods when space on board is tight. When we were asked to carry everything needed for the planned continental fair, we were faced with a logistical problem as many of the sailings were already very busy.
“However, we have always been keen to show our support for events like this, so our freight colleagues did everything necessary to ensure we could accommodate the fair alongside our other traffic and freight. We wanted to play our part in making sure this popular attraction was available for locals and visitors alike to enjoy, and we’re delighted it is proving such a success.”
Michelle O’Malley, Town Centre Manager at the Douglas Development Partnership, said the Festival of Motorcycling was the ideal time for the continental food and craft fair to return, because of the good weather, Bank Holiday and extra visitors in the Island.
She added: “This was a great time to put the fair on, but we knew it would present a challenge to the Steam Packet Company because sailings would be extra busy. We weren’t sure what they would be able to do, but they took on the challenge and delivered everything we needed on time.
“The fair has proved very successful, and I’d like to thank the Steam Packet Company, alongside everyone else involved in that success, for everything they’ve done.