Kíla, Lisa Hannigan and The Riptide Movement sailing for Londonderry

MARITIME PROGRAMME LAUNCH. . . .The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Hilary McClintock pictured at the launch of the 2016 Foyle Maritime Programme at the 'Flying Dutchman' ship docked at Foyleside on Friday afternoon, accompanied by pirates Luke Blakeley and Damon Cooper from 'In Your Space Circus'. This year's Festival runs from July 9-17. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)
MARITIME PROGRAMME LAUNCH. . . .The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Councillor Hilary McClintock pictured at the launch of the 2016 Foyle Maritime Programme at the 'Flying Dutchman' ship docked at Foyleside on Friday afternoon, accompanied by pirates Luke Blakeley and Damon Cooper from 'In Your Space Circus'. This year's Festival runs from July 9-17. (Photo: Jim McCafferty Photography)

Folks fusion legends Kíla, Damien Rice collaborator, Lisa Hannigan, Cavan retro rockers, The Strypes, homegrown hero Soak and appropriately named, The Riptide Movement, have been lined up in a packed programme of events for the forthcoming Foyle Maritime Festival.

Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Alderman Hilary McClintock, said the Foyle Maritime Festival was a fantastic showcase event for the region, and that she was looking forward to a brilliant programme of land and water based activities designed to entertain sea farers and landlubbers alike for ten days from July 9 – 17.

“As July approaches I know that anticipation is growing ahead of the Foyle Maritime Festival. The past two festivals have been exceptional and really established the city’s reputation as a thriving tourism hub. This year’s event promises to exceed all expectations in terms of the quality of the programme and the potential for the district in attracting visitors and boosting the local economy,” she said.

“I look forward to greeting the crew after their gruelling trans-Atlantic journey and I know they will receive a welcome to remember here in the city.

“Hailing from destinations across the globe, it’s our opportunity to showcase our famous hospitality to the Clipper Race teams, so they can carry the message home that the North West is a warm and vibrant visitor destination with so much to offer. And we send our best wishes to the Derry~Londonderry~Doire who have been doing us so proud in the race, as they embark on one of the final legs of their global journey, before returning home to a hero’s welcome. It will be a home coming to remember.”

Head of Culture with Derry City and Strabane District Council, Aeidin McCarter, said: “We are hugely excited to be working with Clipper Ventures once again in staging this stopover event. The name ‘Clipper’ has become synonymous with the city and I know there is great expectation ahead of this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival based on the success of previous years. And we won’t disappoint – the festival promises to offer the ultimate visitor experience and we are so looking forward to welcoming our international guests to the city.”

Alongside the aforementioned artists Irish Classical star Zoë Conway, gypsy folk band Balkan Alien Sound and America’s Got Talent stars, The Willis Clan, are also sailing for Londonderry.

The quayside will be transformed into a bustling seaside promenade with market stalls, funfairs, arts and crafts and fun for all the family. And what Maritime Festival would be complete without some fish? The Clipper Kitchens will be literally stocked to the gills with some of the very best seafood from our local shores. Things will be hotting up in Ebrington Square with live cookery demos, cook offs and other culinary entertainment. Seafood fans will have the opportunity to try and buy some of the fine fishy fayre in the Clipper Race Food Pavilion, showcasing 40 local artisan suppliers, and the Clipper Race Food Village offering the best of Street Food from across Northern Ireland.

The beautiful River Foyle will set the scene for some adrenalin fuelled nautical displays, including dragon boat racing, wake-boarding and water skiing, or take to the river yourself to enjoy taster sessions in canoeing and sailing. See first-hand what the Clipper Race crews have to endure in cramped conditions at sea with open boat tours of the Clipper yachts when they arrive in the city.

The festival concludes on Saturday evening July 16 before the Clipper Race fleet departure on Sunday, with a spectacular finale event – The Voyage of Sunniva. See the dramatic events unfold as this medieval Irish Queen tells her story of sea faring adventure as she flees the perils of invasion and navigates her way to safety in a stunning spectacle of the natural elements. Kíla and Balkan Alien sound will provide the emotive musical narrative to this sensational light and aerial show.

Finally on Sunday the quayside will be thronged as the city bids farewell to the Clipper fleet as they set sail for the final leg of their journey to Dan Helder in the Netherlands. The Parade of Sail will leave the city at 2pm for the race start in Greencastle and thousands are expected to turn out in both Derry and Greencastle to send them on their way.

For more information on the full programme of Foyle Maritime Festival events go to www.foylemaritimefestival.com