Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Derry when the city hosts a ten day Clipper homecoming festival.
The festival marking the arrival of the ten yachts currently competing in the Clipper Round the World Race - the world’s longest ocean race - will run from June 29 to July 8 and will feature concerts, a new seafood festival and the north’s largest ever continental market.
Mayor Alderman Maurice Devenney called on everyone to ‘Get on Board’ to make the most of the opportunities the event will bring for businesses, local communities and visitors.
“Whether you are interested in volunteering, supporting the Clipper Race Homecoming Festival or looking for business development opportunities, we are happy to assist and support your needs. The Clipper Homecoming Festival is an excellent opportunity for us to showcase our city and tell our unique story and I would encourage everyone to Get On Board and be part of this exciting adventure.
“As the Clipper Race yachts have journeyed around the world we have been busy promoting the city and region in international markets, with our successful bursary programme and candidates and our schools education programme that started this month in local schools, as well as in our partnership promotion campaign with NI 2012.
“It’s a fantastic chance for local businesses to get involved and capitalise on the opportunities that exist through a range of initiatives and projects including the ‘Adopt a Boat’ initiative, ‘Welcome Kits’ and ‘Legenderry Welcome Packs’. All in all this is your chance to get involved and help us deliver a world class and successful event for the city.”
The event will include a programme of activities and maritime themed attractions and sights; from marine taster sessions that will bring the River Foyle alive with water based fun. Look out for the Viking boats too! As part of the arrival weekend, taste the exquisite Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival, enjoy the finest musicians from the North Atlantic Fiddle Convention, whet your creative appetite in our creative zone and be part of our official welcome event.
Town Clerk and Chief Executive with Derry City Council, Sharon O’Connor said Clipper was a unique opportunity to raise the profile of the city as a destination for world class events as well as providing local businesses with an opportunity to maximise this unique opportunity to link with other cities and showcase the city.
She said: “The city is physically changing thanks to investment in the public realm, the opening of Ebrington Square, the Peace Bridge and the significant investment in the Foyle Events Marina. The scale and pace of this investment is building real confidence and opportunity for local businesses and communities.
“The Clipper Round the World Yacht Race will be a chance to showcase all of these developments to a worldwide audience, and will be one of the most exciting events the city will ever host. This world class event is an opportunity to attract visitors and investment, and promote our vibrant, innovative city in the lead up to City of Culture 2013. It is our chance to tell our story to a global audience and to reap the benefits of that exposure”.
For more information on how you get involved go to www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper