A massive Parade of Light production involving over 1,000 participants will be among the highlights of Derry’s summer Maritime Festival this year, it has been revealed.
Details of the huge ‘Voyages’ event and other elements of the festival were unveiled to Councillors earlier this week.
The Foyle Maritime Festival will run from Saturday 14 until Sunday 22 July 2018 when it will host the Clipper Round the World Race for the fourth consecutive time.
Council officers said that this will be “one of the biggest festivals to take place in Ireland in 2018”.
In 2016 the event attracted an audience of 163,576 visitors, bringing an estimated spend of £3.5m into the local economy.
Just under 50 per cent of the visitors were from the Derry & Strabane area, with 23 per cent from the rest of Northern Ireland and 30 per cent from the rest of the world.
A major international marketing campaign for the festival is now set to be rolled out.
Programme elements this year will include Clipper Race arrivals, boat tours, motor tours down River Foyle and the Parade of Sail.
The ‘Voyages’ keynote event will be held on Friday July 20 with a Parade of Light on the River Foyle involving 1,000 participants and creating an illuminated and dramatic spectacle on and alongside the river, a report brought before Councillors stated.
Large-scale seacrafts coming to Derry will include the Phoenix Tall Ship, Kaskelot Tall Ship, and the Honk Tonk Sail, a 42ft. catamaran with international jazz band on board.
Water activities will be delivered by Loughs Agency, while the Dragon Boat Tug of War Challenge will take place, alongside the Science of Water, sponsored by DuPont™Kevlar®.
The Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival and Trail and Maritime and Foyle Merchant Markets will also feature, along with a Maritime Melodies interactive festival music programme.
In addition to these programme highlights there will be a range of street artists and entertainment, installations and family friendly activities.
Both the Royal Navy and Irish Naval Services have been invited to attend the event and ten young people from the local community will participate in a Sail Training Programme that includes a five day sea voyage.
Legacy Promotions will be staging a number of events in Ebrington Square during the same time as the Foyle Maritime Festival and independently of Council including two large outdoor concerts on Sunday 15 July and Saturday 21 July.
The Foyle Cup will also take place from Monday 16 until Saturday 21 of July.