Dramatic finale planned for Maritime Festival

A mythical, magical finale to the Foyle maritime Festival has been planned.

A mythical, magical finale to the Foyle maritime Festival has been planned.

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Derry & Strabane Council have released details of a mythical, magical finale planned and fireworks display for the finale of the forthcoming Foyle Maritime Festival.

It is now less than a fortnight before the festival gets under way, with tens of thousands expected to gather for a wide programme of events from Saturday July 9 through to Sunday 17.

The Myth and Magic on the Foyle finale on the evening of Saturday July 16 centres around a medieval maritime heroine called Sunniva.

Entitled ‘The Voyage of Sunniva - Night of the Two Moons’, the event will bringing together the elements and features an aerial performance over the River Foyle.

Mayor Hilary McClintock said she was looking forward to what will be a unique and magical performance.

“The Voyage of Sunniva promises to bring something completely new and exceptional to the Foyle Maritime Festival,” she said.

“It promises to bring together something more mysterious and magical - a real opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere and natural beauty of the river.

“I think that after a week of action packed water sports and family fun, the Voyage of Sunniva will add a different element to the programme celebrating our maritime heritage.

“I would really encourage everyone to come along and be part of a special moment in our Festival programme.”

Grounded in local heritage, the story is a maritime adventure recreating the perils faced by the medieval maritime Queen Sunniva who fled from an invading king, surviving at sea against all the odds before reaching safety on distant shores.

Mysterious figures will walk the Quayside before joining their Queen for a final parade of light on the river as Sunniva and her followers prepare for their journey.

Council Festivals and Events Manager, Jacqueline Whoriskey, said the performance would be a dramatic conclusion to what’s shaping up to be a fantastic week of events for the city.

“The Voyage of Sunniva will really capture people’s imaginations and we are delighted to bring such a unique and creative piece together for the Festival Finale event.

“All the action takes place on our stunning River Foyle which is a great platform for performance. The Voyage of Sunniva will be a visual spectacle with a beautiful aerial and light show brought to life by LUXe.

“This will end with a spectacular fireworks finale bringing to a dramatic close our Foyle Maritime Festival celebrations before we say farewell to the Clipper Race fleet the following day.”

Events along the Queen’s Quay will begin from 8pm, with music and animation, culminating in some fireworks on the Foyle at 10.45pm.

During the festival the quayside will be transformed into a bustling seaside promenade with market stalls, funfairs, arts and crafts and fun for all ages.

The Clipper Kitchens will be stocked to the gills with some of the best seafood from our local shores.

There is also a packed music line-up headed up by The Riptide Movement on Friday July 15, and some adrenalin fuelled nautical displays, including dragon boat racing, wake-boarding and water skiing, and you have the perfect recipe for a fantastic week.

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.

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