On May 19th 2024 we celebrated the pier’s 128th birthday with the Bangor Pier Festival, and what a day we had! Celebrations started at 9am with a wide selection of food and drink stalls ranging from bacon baps to Caribbean food and from smoothies to cocktails! There was something for everyone including the youngest visitors with mascots, crafts, face painting and a ball pool and soft play for the very youngest. Then from 12 noon to 6pm we celebrated along with a host of local musical talent.

The sun shone, the music played, the drinks flowed, and the people came – over 4500 adults and children during the course of the day. So, put May 18th 2025 in your diary for the next birthday party! This was a celebration of local talents and crafts and small businesses – thank you to everyone who took part and everyone who came!

We are very grateful to everyone who made this day a success, including our generous sponsors, Enterprise Mobility, Dwr Cymru, Felin Mascots, Lloyds Bank and also Admiral Taverns who provided car parking facilities for disabled parking. This year for the first time we had Park&Ride and Shuttle Bus facilities, courtesy of Partneriaeth Ogwen and Aled’s Taxis who provided the transport and Nantporth who provided parking spaces for 100 vehicles. Together with the provision of disabled parking, this made transport to and from the event much simpler and safer and also resulted in less disruption for the local communities of Garth and Hirael.

Preparations for the event meant that we needed to close the access road and ensure that the car park was empty of cars, always a difficult task, but made so much easier this year by the very efficient services of Rob Mills & Daughter, Traffic Management Services, but we are also very grateful to the local residents who ensured that these areas were free of cars. Also essential to us were the services of Silurian Security who helped keep everything safe and trouble free on the day, and Mon Medics who provided a first-class Medical Service in case of emergencies, although, thankfully their services weren’t needed on the day!

In the lead up to the festival, Signs & Designs provided us with fantastic banners and flyers letting people know about the event. This obviously worked as over 4500 people attended during the day, coming from far and wide and also of course from Bangor itself.

The festival was officially opened by the Mayor of Bangor, Councillor Gareth Parry, and the music started at 12 noon with a set from the talented Menai Bridge Brass Band, followed by the amazing children of Academi Westend Academy. Cor Law yn LLaw from Ysbyty Gwynedd then performed magnificently for us, followed by Karen Ann and Wynne Elvis, who are both always so entertaining. In fact Wynne Elvis acted as compere for the whole afternoon, entertaining the crowd and holding everything together admirably. Sefydlaid Confucius then performed with their guzheng, playing two pieces including a traditional Chinese piece. No festival would be complete without the incredible Maes G Showzone, and they were followed by Whole of the Moon who gave us a tremendous set. Then we had the first ever public appearance by the Aloha Betsi Band, an ukelele band established by Wynne Elvis and comprising of health service staff. And then, the finale, the tremendous local rock band Y Cyffro, who are worth the entrance fee in themselves! Of course, there would be no entertainment without the services of MAD Sound and their fantastic articulated stage, and whose staff ensured the music flowed smoothly throughout the afternoon. Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd were again in attendance, broadcasting all over the world from our amazing pier, including to Australia!

All day long, we were all kept fed and watered by the amazing food and drink vendors. We are very grateful to them all for making our day special and providing such a wide range of products, all at very competitive prices, and our thanks go to Emyr Owen for putting us in touch with a number of these vendors, all of whom will I’m sure be returning to our next events. We also had a large number of craft stalls, including those of Friends of Bangor Garth Pier, who all reported having a tremendous day’s sales. We were pleased also to be supported by Bangor 1876, our local football club, and they in turn reported excellent sales of their new football shirts.

What festival would be complete without the presence of our local fire service, with their amazing fire tender, and wonderful firefighters ready to entertain the children. This year too we had soft play and ball pool services from Bounce a Lot, always a firm favourite with children, as well as Face Painting by Sara Jones of Tammy’s Face Painting, always so popular. Our young visitors were also entertained by Lucy’s Craft Table, and cultural activities by Sefydliad Confucius.

And then there were the mascots! Awyr Las’s Nel Del and the wonderful mascots of Felin Mascots and Sefydliad Confucius’s Panda entertained the children for hours, as evidenced by all the wonderful photos circulating on social media!

We are very grateful to the staff of Bangor City Council who were present on the day, ensuring any glitches were soon sorted, and also to the Mayor and Bangor City Councillors who attended on the day.

And last but most definitely not least, our incredible, dedicated, loyal, hardworking band of volunteers who worked like trojans all day long, carrying out all the tasks that make an event such as this successful. Without them, none of this would be possible.

And so, here we are, looking back on a tremendous day, blessed by the sun, a culmination of months of planning, a day to be proud of, a day to show what hard work and dedication and team work can do, a day to make Bangor proud.

Happy birthday Bangor Garth Pier – see you next year for your 129th birthday!

Avril Wayte

Chair, Friends of Bangor Garth Pier

Image courtesy of Robin Cooper