Clipper returning as plans for 11 day Foyle Maritime Festival 2020 revealed

The Clipper fleet will definitely be coming back to Derry it has been confirmed as details of the forthcoming 2020 Maritime Festival were revealed.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 12:04 pm

Derry City and Strabane District Council’s Business and Culture Committee were this week given an update regarding the planning and delivery of the Foyle Maritime Festival.

Members attending the monthly meeting of the committee on Tuesday heard how Council has signed a contractual agreement with Clipper Ventures to again host the Clipper 2019-20 Race in the Foyle Marina in July.

Aeidin McCarter, Head of Culture with the Council, said the Clipper yachts are expected to arrive in the city from July 23, and that work is progressing to develop an action packed programme of animation and activity for the duration of the festival.

The Foyle Maritime Festival attracted large crowds every day in 2018. Picture by George Sweeney DER2918GS057

Other early Programme highlights will include the ‘We Are Together Festival’ at Ebrington Square on July 25 and 26 and August 1 and 2, LegenDerry Street Food Festival July 24 -26 and Pianocean from July 25 to August 2.

The festival will run for 11 days, with an enhanced level of activity over the five major days of the festival from Wednesday July 29 to Sunday August 2 from 12pm to 10pm each day except on Friday July 31 when hours will be extended to 11.15pm to facilitate a Showcase event.

The Saint Colmcille themed Showcase finale event for this year’s festival promises to be another large-scale landscape piece of theatre that encompasses land, water and air, a parade of light on the water with ships and boats and featuring a pyrotechnic show.

These five days could possibly include a full road closure along Queen’s Quay to facilitate crowds.

Foyle Maritime Festival 2018 Crowds on Derry Quay.

Major features during the overall festival will include a Legenderry Street Food Festival and a Tall Tales of the Sea programme that will include a Museum Voyages marquee, Science of Water, Tall ships and navy visits, Clipper Race tours and excursion, on-water displays, Maritime and Merchant Markets and an Underwater garden, were also outlined to members.

Work is also progressing on finalising arrangements for additional support services including the festival bar, the continental market and showcase event.

Aeidin McCarter said ongoing work was continuing with Clipper Ventures, Invest NI and Tourism Ireland (USA) regarding Council activation at two international stopovers in Seattle and New York.

Updated information relating to the Maritime Market and street trading arrangements during the festival were also outlined.

Tall ships and the Belgian Navy Ship Crocus along the quayside during the Foyle Maritime Festival. Picture Martin McKeown. 19.07.18

A further business engagement event to inform businesses and stakeholders on the festival programme to date and how they can maximise the opportunities, is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 10.