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Heritage and Education to the fore at the Foyle Maritime Festival

07 July 2016

Excitement is building ahead of the early arrival of the Clipper Race yachts and revellers are looking forward to coming along and being part of the Foyle Maritime Festival. Everyone is being encouraged to get their diaries in shipshape and get ready for an action packed programme of educational and heritage events.

Derry~Londonderry will be hit with a wave of maritime action from this Wednesday right through to the 17 July, with a wide range of fun filled events running daily throughout the festival.  Activities will certainly make a splash with Little Mateys, who can have a blast making swords at pirate themed workshops, creating crafty creatures from the deep or listening to magical tales of mermaids and daring sea voyages.   

Speaking ahead of the festival, Aideen McCarter, Head of Culture at Derry City and Strabane District Council explains:

“This year the Foyle Maritime Festival presents a fabulous action packed programme, which will guarantee a great day out for families.  The dedicated arts and crafts element will keep kids very well entertained, from the pirate workshops to the various maritime themed craft activities. We’re anticipating that all activities will be extremely busy so my advice is to come early to avoid disappointment.  We look forward to welcoming many people to our fantastic city for what will once again undoubtedly be a very special festival.”

From Saturday 9th – Wednesday 13th July, it’s time to batten down the hatches and get prepared as Guildhall Square becomes the scene of a pirate invasion!  Starting at 12pm daily, you can eat, drink and dance along with the perilous pirates all day long!  Kids can enjoy the Pirate Playground or take a selfie with a pirate!  School may be out for summer, but any wannabe Jack Sparrows should make their way to the Pirate School, open for all little pirates and mermaids to come dressed up and meet the notorious Nasty Captain Nick!

Kid’s Corner in Ebrington Square will also run as part of the festival from Thursday 14 – Sunday 17 July, from 12noon - 6pm daily.  From singing chefs, walkabout characters, face painting and culinary themed kid’s arts & crafts, this will be a huge hit for families.

Get ready for the Voyage of Sunniva!  On 14th July from 1-7pm and 16th July from 1-8pm, there will arts activities, face painting and storytelling at McFarland Quay in preparation for the Final Voyage on Saturday 16th – the Night of the Two Moons!

Families will be encouraged to explore some of the amazing maritime heritage the River Foyle has to offer at the “Explore Our Heritage and Environment” marquee at McFarland Quay, beside the Tall Ship. Discover what lives below the surface of the River Foyle with the Loughs’s Agency Discovery Tank. Learn about marine engineering at the DuPont interactive exhibition, and explore local environmental issues with the RSPB.

Get hands on with the Tower Museum’s interactive display from their maritime collections and find out more about the new Maritime Museum. Kids can get creative with our fun, fishy activity packs and some of the amazing winning boats of “Float Your Boat” competition will also be on display! Impress your friends with the excellent environmental facts that you can learn on Thursday 14th and Friday 15th from 12noon - 8pm; Saturday 16th 10am - 8pm and Sunday 17th, 10am – 6pm.

The Foyle Maritime Festival is supported by Tourism Northern Ireland, Foyle Port, Loughs Agency, Diageo, DuPont Kevlar and Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

This is only the tip of the iceberg, with many more fantastic events and activities to enjoy.

For further information on the Foyle Maritime Festival and a full programme of events visit www.foylemaritimefestival.com. Follow us on Twitter @derryclipper or find us on Facebook at Derrylondonderryclipper