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Foyle Maritime Festival shines despite the showers

30 June 2024

It’s been a weekend of sunshine and showers, but it didn’t stop the crowds from turning out in their thousands to sample the delights of the Foyle Maritime Festival.

After a damp start on Thursday, the sun decided to finally make an appearance on Friday bringing the fair weather visitors with it in their droves to enjoy the packed programme of water taster sessions, boat tours, live music, LegenDerry Food, animation and entertainment over the four days until Sunday.

This year’s new look festival site allowed for an enhanced outdoor dining experience, with picnic areas, easier access to market stalls, and less congestion for visitors. The live music stage played host to a packed programme of local talent who kept the crowds entertained all weekend.

Saturday evening’s Beyond Blue Showcase event drew the crowds to the quayside for a thrilling evening of illuminations, choral performance, synchronised lighting display and fireworks. A gorgeous Parade of Sail brought some magic to the Foyle as dusk set in and a flotilla of tall ships bedecked in lighting and pyrotechnic effects sparkled and shimmered in the darkness.

Looking back on the weekend festivities, Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Councillor Barr paid tribute to all who had made it such a success. “We are delighted that after a damp start on Thursday we have seen a fantastic surge of visitors at the festival. The quayside has been thronged, and the atmosphere has just been brilliant with people of all ages out enjoying the good food, great entertainment and wonderful hospitality from all our traders.

“So much planning goes into the festival and it’s so rewarding to see it all coming together and the benefits it brings both to the local economy, but also the local community. Thank you to all our vendors, our visitors, our performers, and our partners for supporting this event, it really wouldn’t be possible without you. Here’s to the next Foyle Maritime Festival!”

The internationally acclaimed Foyle Maritime Festival is delivered by Derry City and Strabane District Council, Foyle Port, Tourism NI, the Loughs Agency, and sponsorship support from Diageo and Ulster University. Early indications are that after a slow start hampered by some sharp showers on Thursday the visitors made up for lost time over the rest of the festival.

Head of Culture with Council, Aeidin McCarter said: “We are delighted that despite a bit of Irish weather we had some great days and the crowds got to enjoy the full al fresco Maritime Village experience.

“We have had a fantastic weekend and we’ve been getting lots of positive feedback from both the public and our vendors who have been working non-stop all weekend. Events like this present a great opportunity to showcase all the city has to offer as a visitor destination, and provide a fantastic cultural experience for local people as well. Thank you to everyone who turned out, I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.”

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