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Fun on the Foyle for all the family this July

06 July 2022
With just a few weeks to go until the Foyle Maritime Festival sets sail, it’s time to check out the programme and plan the ultimate festival experience, with tonnes of free family friendly activities to enjoy.
The programme runs from July 20th – 24th offering a treasure trove of water based and quayside entertainment, animation, music and adventure for all ages, from Boat Tours to Big Wheels. Entry to the Festival is free, opening the door to an exciting medley of maritime themed highlights including the Maritime and Foyle Merchant Markets, Maritime Melodies, amusements, environmental and heritage based activities.
Central to all the action is of course the Arrival of the Clipper Race fleet, who will arrive fresh from their battle to conquer the Atlantic from July 14th. Festival goers will have the chance to hop on board the racing yachts to find out more about the crew’s adventures on the High Seas during the Clipper 70 motor tours, and open boat tours. Or why not step back in time on one of the captivating tall ships gracing the quay, as The Phoenix, Grace O’Mally, and the Brocklebank offer a snapshot of seafaring days of the past.
Friday July 22nd is the date for the festival’s spectacular showcase event on the Foyle, What Lies Beneath, which will see the riverfront really come alive between 8pm and midnight with an interactive landscape production both on and off the water. An array of artists, performers, singers, musicians and dancers will animate the Foyle using special effects, lighting, sound and pyrotechnics.
Enjoy relaxing afternoons along the riverside with plenty of fun in the Boardwalk Empire/Life’s a Beach area, with lots to entertain the kids with the Science of Water environmental programme, amusements and animated characters. Experience the wonders of the Foyle with two free state of the art VR experiences based in the heritage DNA tent and the Marine Machine.
Looking ahead to the event Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said she was delighted at the diversity of activities on offer. “I really want to congratulate the Festival and Events team and our event partners in the Loughs Agency, Tourism NI, Diageo and Foyle Port on putting together a packed programme offering something for everyone. I’m impressed to see such an exciting mix of music, dance, performance, and water activities sitting alongside more educational and environmentally focused workshops and attractions, aimed at raising awareness and promoting positive messages about conservation and the environment.
“We are all aware of the financial pressures experienced by families at the moment and much consideration has been given to activities and attractions that are open and accessible to everyone. I am delighted to see the picnic tables that have sprung up along the quayside and in the Festival Village area, and other facilities such as the water refill stations, providing amenities for anyone bringing their own food to the event. While of course the Foyle Maritime Festival is a huge boost to the local economy and of major benefit to our businesses, it’s all about balance and offering people affordable options while they are here,” she added.
Clipper Race 70 Boat Tours are also free to the public allowing people to experience a taste of life on board the eleven racing yachts and speak to one of the Clipper Race crew about their journey, as are the Tall Ship tours. There will be live music along the river each evening, free for all to enjoy as part of the Maritime Melodies programme. The spectacular showcase evening on Friday July 22, will also be a free event, while Sunday’s Parade of Sail farewell to the Clipper Fleet is also open to all, and promises to be an exciting and emotional send off for the crew as they finally head for home.
The Foyle Maritime Festival is led by Derry City and Strabane District Council with support from Tourism NI, Foyle Port, the Loughs Agency and Diageo. You can find out more about all the activities taking place throughout the festival at foylemaritime.com