THE city is buzzing as the final preparations for the much anticipated Clipper Homecoming Festival gets underway in the city.
For those of you walking along the Quay, you will see the area is a flurry of activity as the final touches are put into place to give the 10 yachts and their crews a memorable welcome when they arrive on the River Foyle on board their 68-foot cutters, for a 10 day fun-filled festival of activities never seen before in the North West.
Other boats on the Quay this weekend will include a Severn Class all-weather lifeboat tour boats such as the ‘Maid of Antrim’ and ‘Wee Blue Boat’. Over 100 visiting boats will also begin to dock on the marina creating a unique maritime atmosphere.
Those inspired by the Clipper yachtsmen can have a go at sailing for themselves at the Foyle Pontoon. ‘Get on Board’ with Ocean Youth Trust who will be on hand to give you the opportunity to book a sailing ‘taster session’; whilst Foyle Paddlers will be offering ‘Try Canoeing’ sessions. Ardglass Vikings will be recreating Viking folklore and stories, as well as offering the public the chance to row their longboat along the river.
The ‘Flavours of the Foyle’ Seafood Festival (Saturday and Sunday, 1pm – 6pm), located along the quay will features a series of live cookery demonstrations by 14 local chefs from across the North West and further afield, including; The Beech Hill, Browns, Mourne Seafood Bar, Watts and Co, and more. There is also a special Theatre of Food Experience with NI Good Food and celebrity chef Paula McIntyre.
At the creativity zone, there will be a daily programme of interactive workshops, performances and storytelling. The environment marquee will give you the chance to learn about the River Foyle - see and touch the creatures that live there, with Riverwatch Aquarium and Visitor Centre. Take part in the ‘Legenderry’ Geocache Trail; an outdoor treasure hunt in which players have to find hidden treasures using GPS enabled devices and share experience online.
In addition to all this we have fire-eaters, lots of weird and wonderful maritime characters and performers, and music along the quay!
Highlights this weekend at Clipper
· The Clipper Yachts will be coming in at various times over the weekend – to keep up to date, and to view three hour notice, go to Facebook Derry~Londonderry Clipper 11-12
· Flavours of the Foyle Seafood Festival: Saturday (12pm – 8pm), Sunday (1pm – 6pm)
· Tour boats: Friday – Sunday (10am – 8pm)
· Ardglass Vikings: Saturday – Sunday (10am – 6pm)
· Foyle Paddlers: Saturday – Sunday (and during the week) (10:30am – 5:30pm)
· Try Sailing: Saturday – Sunday (and during the week), (10am – 8pm)
For more information on the huge range of free entertainment, food, performance, water and land-based activities which are on offer, click on www.whatsonderrylondonderry.com or www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper.
The Clipper Homecoming Festival is organised by Derry City Council in partnership with Londonderry Port with funders Northern Ireland Tourist Board, Loughs Agency, Ilex, FG Wilson, Invest Northern Ireland and Malin Waters. The event is made possible with the support of many partners including Translink, Tourism Ireland, Chamber of Commerce, Department for Social Development and local business.
For full details of when each activity will be on offer and for more details of other activities, go to our programme at www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper