Apprentice Boys of Derry’s Maiden City festival ‘hugely important’ and part of my tourist strategy: Hamilton

Captain Thomas Ashe played by Alan Wright leads the cast of the pageant which will take place today, Saturday, before the annual Apprentice Boys Relief of Derry parade which will see 150 bands and 8,000 of members of the organisation take part in the largest parade in Northern Ireland. The pageant, part of the annual Maiden City Festival, will retell the story of the 1688-1689 Siege with stories from the defenders and how the siege was lifted as the Mountjoy broke through the boom which blocked the River Foyle. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 12.08.16

Captain Thomas Ashe played by Alan Wright leads the cast of the pageant which will take place today, Saturday, before the annual Apprentice Boys Relief of Derry parade which will see 150 bands and 8,000 of members of the organisation take part in the largest parade in Northern Ireland. The pageant, part of the annual Maiden City Festival, will retell the story of the 1688-1689 Siege with stories from the defenders and how the siege was lifted as the Mountjoy broke through the boom which blocked the River Foyle. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 12.08.16

Tourism Minister Simon Hamilton has described the Apprentice Boys of Derry’s Maiden City Festival as a “hugely important” draw for visitors and pledged to continue supporting it in future.

He made the promise at Stormont in response to party colleague and Foyle MLA Gary Middleton.

Mr Middleton asked “whether he will work to ensure that tourism in Londonderry and the North West is well represented in the new tourism strategy, given that he will be aware of the highly successful Maiden City Festival in the Foyle constituency”.

Mr Hamilton replied: “Yes, absolutely. I can give the Member and the people in his constituency that assurance. The Maiden City Festival, which he cites as a hugely important part of the calendar that has attracted a large number of visitors to Londonderry, is something that we have supported through Tourism NI in recent years, including this year, and we look forward to doing so in the future and building on the success of what has been a tremendous event down through the years.”