Giant Adventures in Newry, Mourne and Down this Summer
Giant Adventures in Newry, Mourne and Down this Summer!
A host of mythical, magical creatures will enchant visitors to Newry, Mourne and Down this summer.
On Tuesday 31 May 2016, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council unveiled its Giant Adventures summer programme of events in the company of some forest folk, mischievous spirits and creatures of the Loughs.
The launch at Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor, highlighted a number of key flagship festivals that will be enjoyed across the district from Strangford to Slieve Gullion; locations that will offer their beauty and majesty of lough, forest and mountain as a backdrop.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane explained the importance behind the Council’s vision for event tourism in the district, “Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is stepping up its game when it comes to hosting major events with a new plan to inspire visitors and lead them to 'our place' as a holiday destination.”
“We have built a strong reputation for hosting high profile events and festivals, such as the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open, the international Gran Fondo and the Annual Famine Commemoration event. The ‘Giant Adventures’ brand has been developed as part of the Council’s summer events plan for 2016 to build upon these successes. We need to draw on our majestic landscape, world-class venues and experience of developing excellent events across our district. Our efforts, this year and going forward, have been developed with the support of community event organisers and professionals from right across the district and I hope that collectively we will all help realise real economic benefits for our region this year and in the years ahead.”
Councillor Mickey Ruane continued, “The benefits of a dynamic and variant events programme reach far beyond the summer period. Newry, Mourne and Down District Council is the gateway to the 'Giant Adventures' for the majority of our international, national and local visitors. The more choice of visitor experiences that we can offer, the more appealing our district will be, and the more results we will achieve.”
Skiffie World 2016 kicks off proceedings in Strangford and Delamont from 24–30 July. The World Championship rowing competition on Strangford Lough comes alive as 50 colourful, community built Skiffs take part in the international coastal rowing races. Visitors will have the opportunity to watch the racing, meet the rowers and enjoy a programme of events in Delamont Country Park from the 25-30 July. On the final day the Skiffs will row from Delamont, in a spectacular display, to The Narrows where they will join in the celebrations at the annual Strangford Lough Festival in Strangford and Portaferry.
Next up is the eagerly-anticipated B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight 2016, a firm favourite in the summer calendar of thousands of people who stream into Newcastle and the surrounding shores to enjoy the dazzling spectacle soaring overhead. The B/E Aerospace Festival of Flight promises a powerful combination of stunning airborne antics complemented by a lively ground level programme of family-friendly events and attractions, all played out against the iconic backdrop of the Mountains of Mourne. It is undoubtedly a world class event, set in a world class location.
‘Wake the Giant’ and ‘Footsteps in the Forest’ are two brand new festivals developed by the Council to add to its summer offering. Visitors and residents alike will learn all about the myths and legends (and some tall tales!) of the sleeping Giant in Warrenpoint and the dastardly tale of intrigue played out in the nooks and crannies of Slieve Gullion Forest Park.
‘Wake the Giant’ festival on 20 and 21 August, promises gigantic fun for all as brave souls band together in a ‘Glamour Clamour’to try to wake the sleeping giant who has been bewitched. Can the ‘Point Man’ lead the crowds and create enough din and distraction to save the day? This is sure to be the highlight of the summer in Warrenpoint, as local people combine their efforts, working with artists and craftspeople, in order to wake the sleeping giant, said to repose on the Cooley Mountains.
Bringing the summer of Giant Adventures to a close on the 28 and 29 August is ‘Footsteps in the Forest’, the second of the new additions in the district’s festival line-up. Footsteps in the Forest will showcase the beauty and mystery of Slieve Gullion Forest Park, capitalising on well-known tales associated with the forest and adding new stories of magical creatures converging in the park for an annual High Summer gathering. Visitors will have an opportunity to encounter a mythical people sharing their stories of a world that has been forgotten and explore their woodland realm.
Councillor Mickey Ruane welcomed this new approach to festivals and events throughout the district, “The Council views the development of new festivals, in tandem with established events like Festival of Flight, as a positive step in positioning our area as one of the premier tourism destinations on the Island of Ireland. From Strangford to South Armagh we are extending a welcome to new visitors and providing innovative, interactive events for those who live and work here.”
Councillor Ruane continued, “The theme of Giant Adventures embodies the scale of our ambition to host world-class events in Newry, Mourne and Down. By the end of summer 2016 we will have delivered a series of festivals which represent everything this place has to offer in terms of landscape, arts and culture, sporting prowess, storytelling and hospitality. These events will bring thousands of new visitors to our district to eat, drink, shop and stay. While here they will be treated to the best in hospitality through our local accommodation providers, and will be introduced to the finest food and beverage offerings, through local suppliers as part of our Taste Junction Year of Food initiative.”
“We will have pulled out all the stops in terms of our tourism offering and exploited the majesty of the land, sea and sky. Our communities will have been involved in new experiences; our streets, shoreline and forest parks will be alive with music, colour and spectacle and this place will have enhanced its growing reputation for excellence and diversity in events.”