Countdown on as Derry’s Maritime & Clipper festival 2022 draws near

Excitement is building ahead of the return of Derry’s popular Maritime Festival and Clipper fleet returning next month.

By Brendan McDaid
Saturday, 4th June 2022, 8:59 am

The Foyle Maritime Festival will be back for the first time since 2018 in around six weeks’ time, running over five days from Wednesday July 20th to Sunday July 24th.

Highlights of this year’s event include the Legenderry Street Food Festival, live music events and on street animation as well as the arrival of the Clipper fleet and Tall Ships.

There will also be marine themed installations, market stalls and events for children.

Returning: The Foyle Maritime Festival and Clipper fleet will be back in July 2022.

The theme this year is ‘What Lies Beneath’, focusing on the natural beauty of the oceans, rivers and lakes, and the onus on all of us to protect and preserve marine life. Take the Pledge will be the message, with a campaign within the festival encouraging local people to sign up to being more eco-friendly.

Head of Culture with Council, Aeidin McCarter, said earlier this year: “There’s a great sense of anticipation about the Foyle Maritime Festival, it’s the flagship summer event for the City and District, and one that always generates an incredible buzz of excitement many months before the first sails are sighted on the Foyle.”

Once again the Clipper Fleet will receive a warm welcome when they sail up the Foyle in time for the festival. The fleet faced a two year delay due to the pandemic but are now back at sea and Derry bound next month.

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Derry man in the Clipper Race
The Clipper fleet docked on River Foyle in Derry during a previous festival.

This will be the fifth consecutive time that the city has acted as a host port and a considerable international following for the event has built up over the years.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Alderman Graham Warke said: “There will be so much excitement as the first yachts appear on the Foyle. It will mark a real milestone in the journey of the crew but also very significantly in terms of the slow journey towards recovery that we have all been on.

“I’ve had a chance to look at the details of the Foyle Maritime Festival programme and I think the events team have done an amazing job at retaining the maritime magic of the event and also enhancing it this year.”

Mark Light, Clipper Race Director, said recently: “this has been the longest Clipper Race edition in our history and so we are looking forward to returning to this wonderful city more than ever. As a Skipper who has previously had the honour of representing Derry-Londonderry (back in 2011-12), I have experienced first-hand the exceptional welcome our teams always receive from locals. And for our fleet to be the centre point of the Foyle Maritime Festival is a real honour. We can’t wait to be back!”

A previous Maritime Festival. (Lorcan Doherty)

The Foyle Maritime Festival is delivered in conjunction with Foyle Port, and the Loughs Agency.