An influx of tens of thousands of visitors are expected along Derry’s quayside and city centre over the course of the next five days as the Foyle Maritime Festival gets into full swing.
Thousands have already turned out each day of the festival over the weekend, with dozens more events planned for the coming days through to the festival finale programme at the weekend.
Today’s highlights will include Derry’s Total WipeOut, which is taking place all day at Creggan Country Park, price £5 per person.
The Foyle Maritime Festival music programme will get under way at 12pm at Guildhall Square and run through until 10pm with DJ Discomania up first, followed by Shane Rodgers, Kathleen Kate, Scenery, Thomas John, Palais Swing Band and the Real Thing Band.
The Let’s Get Curious Kids Zone will continue from 12pm to 8pm at Queen’s Quay, while the Pirate Invasion will continue at Guildhall Square will run from 12 noon to 6pm.
Tomorrow will see free Clipper 70 Experiences short motor tours of the Foyle all day from Queen’s Quay, while there will also be free River Safaris by canoe from 9.30am to 5.30pm from tomorrow.
Thousands are expected to witness the Clipper Race Prizegiving and Celebration at 7pm in Guildhall Square tomorrow.
On Thursday, meanwhile, the hatch will be rolled up on the Clipper Race Kitchens Food Village at Ebrington, with a wide array of street food vendors and demonstrations from top chefs over the coming days.
The famous Phoenix Tall Ship will also be arriving at McFarland Quay on Thursday, with Model Yacht racing from 1pm to 4pm on the river and a twilight paddle from Foyle Marina to Culmore Point in the evening.
The Council have said that there will be some level of disruption to regular traffic and travel arrangements in and around the main festival areas in the city centre over the coming days.
Mayor Hilary McClintock, said: “To account for the wide variety of outdoor events taking place a number of changes to parking and travel will be in place. These restrictions are there for the benefit of the public to ensure the safe delivery of the events and disruption will be kept to a minimum.
“I want to ask everyone to use the park and stride facilities during the bigger outdoor events, and to heed any restrictions in place, as well as instructions from the PSNI, stewards and council staff.”
In addition to the city centre car parks, motorists are encouraged to use the Park and Stride/ Drop Off area which will operate at the Fort George site, accessed off Pennyburn Roundabout.
There is will also be a Park and Stride facility operating at Ebrington, accessed from the Limavady road.
On street parking restrictions will be in place throughout the festival, but parking will be available at usual car parks throughout the city. Car Parking along Queen’s Quay will be restricted to allow for increased activity along the Quayside.
To facilitate preparations for the Voyage of Sunniva finale event on Saturday 16th July, there may be traffic disruptions along Queen’s Quay and a temporary road closure from 9pm to 11pm so motorists are advised to use alternative routes. The Peace Bridge will also be closed during the finale event between 10pm to 11pm to accommodate a spectacular finale fireworks display. Festival goers should note that the finale event can be viewed from areas along the Quayside as well as Ebrington where there will also be live music and a bar area.
For anyone with limited mobility accessible viewing areas and a designated drop off point will be in place beside McFarland Quay.
For a full list of all traffic and travel restrictions and regular updates go to www.foylemaritimefestival.com.