Mark Cummins volunteered at the Dublin Bay Prawn Festival during St. Patrick's Weekend 2017.
The day began in earnest with the volunteers meeting on the green where the festival was set up – this was my second ever event as a volunteer and the largest group I have volunteered with. Chiara, Daiga and Stuart were already chatting and handing out goody bags when I arrived. I already knew a few faces in the group and was made to feel very welcome. We were each given some tea and coffee and a waterproof jacket.
Luckily I was spared the unique pleasure of wearing a Leprechaun costume two days in a row by some of the other more enthusiastic volunteers. Each of us was assigned to a particular area and given a prawn punt to exchange for lunch at any of the stands. My position for the day was at the main entrance with another volunteer Maria who was a veteran of many events.
The first trainload of visitors arrived in a wave and we were soon inundated with people asking questions looking for toilets and cash machines or just asking about the event itself. The event volunteers were spread out from the train station to the entrance of the food village and our Leprechauns went down a treat with the younger visitors with dozens of picture opportunities were taken.
Our lunch was provided free of charge by Kanoodles in the breakoff tent & our prawn punts also bought us some delicious seafood from the best restaurants in Howth.
The day progressed from there with thousands of people passing through the entrance, we were all looked after & ample amounts of chocolate were supplied when energy levels began to dip. Some well-timed live music put a spring back in our step & the day ended on a high with a debriefing followed by the return of the Leprechaun suits.
If you'd like to try out volunteering but are not sure if it's for you, event volunteering is a great way to dip your toe in the water. For information visit www.eventvolunteers.ie.