Giant Weekend of Events Planned for Warrenpoint
It’s only a matter of days before giant, Fionn mac Cumhaill, centrepiece of Visit Mourne’s Wake the Giant Festival, will return to Warrenpoint in County Down, where legend has it there is a giant sleeping in the Cooley Mountains on the far shore of Carlingford Lough, overlooking the town.
Visit Mourne has once again commissioned world famous artist and sculptor, Francis Morgan as Creative Director to create a new and even larger Fionn for this year’s Wake the Giant Festival on Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August. His imaginative new take on the retelling of the area’s myths and legends will keep local folklore alive and leave visitors coming back for more.
The giant scale Fionn will create a spectacle as he rides into town at 2pm on Saturday with his helpers, the Point Man and the Eco Queen, accompanied by her seventeen Elementalists from St Dallan’s Primary School.
Entering the town via Newry Street, the procession will make its way up Church Street where Fionn, ably assisted by the Point Man, will entertain crowds along the route, which will continue through to the front shore before arriving at Mary Street - Fionn’s resting place for the afternoon. Here the sleepy giant will take forty winks, reawakening at 8pm before he makes his way to Queen Street for his evening show, Myth & Time.
Myth & Time is a captivating story that will be regaled by Fionn, about his travels across the world and through time. There to also help with the telling of the tale will be the Point Man, the Eco Queen and the Elementalists.
On Sunday, Fionn will have a second tale to tell and at 2pm you will find the giant sleeping at Warrenpoint Pier where he will wake to share The Story of Cahir Linn - The City of the Pool - a hidden city under the waves of Carlingford Lough based on Michael G. Crawford’s, The legendary Stories of Carlingford Lough.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said. “This brilliantly created and crafted event is the perfect way for families to end their summer holidays in Newry, Mourne and Down.
“It has everything you could wish for - giants, stories, theatre, musical performances lots of family activities and delicious food. It will be a gigantic feast for the senses so pick your spot along the procession route and find a pitch in front of the bandstand to soak up all the wonderful things this festival has to offer.”
During the festival Warrenpoint Municipal Park will be altered into The Land of Giants featuring Giant family activities, the Giant’s Feast Food Village, a Giant games zone and Giant craft village. While here, you will not want to miss the fantastic line up of musicians billed across the two days performing on the Park’s bandstand stage. Incredible music from the likes of Catherine McGrath, Odhrán Murphy and headliner, Belfast’s very own Brian Kennedy is sure to add to the festival atmosphere.
On Saturday, Cora Kelly kicks off the musical line-up with her signature pop-blues style. A singer-songwriter from Killough Co Down, to date she has released three EP’s, one of which was launched in the Belfast Nashville Festival in 2015.
Bringing a traditional vibe to the park, Irish folk singer-songwriter and seasoned veteran of the folk scene, Luka Bloom, will captivate audiences with his passion, lyricism and a respect for tradition, during Saturday’s lunchtime slot. As a solo acoustic act with a big voice and intense guitar style, he has become one of Ireland's best-respected contemporary folk artists famous for songs such as ‘Sunny Sailor Boy’ and ‘Delirious’.
During the afternoon, fans of local Rostrevor girl and popular country music singer-songwriter, Catherine McGrath, will be treated to what is sure to be an incredible mix of her best known hits and new work. Catherine, who regularly travels to Nashville for songwriting and studio sessions, is known for hits such as ‘Wild’ and ‘Don’t Let Me Forget’, featuring Hunter Hayes.
The honour of closing this incredible line up on Saturday goes to Armagh man, Odhrán Murphy, whose new single, ‘Stars’ was recently featured on the popular TV show, Love Island. Odhrán has been making a name on the local music scene with his blend of pop and folk and with viral TikTok videos and a publishing deal under his belt, he has been on the rise over the past year.
It’s the bands that will be rocking the Sunday session with sounds of folk, country and gospel courtesy of Wookalily, The Mons Wheeler Band and The Unholy Gospel Band. However, headlining the day will be one of Ireland’s most inspired soloists, musician Brian Kennedy.
Kicking the bandstand off at 11.30am - Wookalily - five women performing awe inspiring four part harmonies, playing ten instruments including low bowed double bass, flutes, trumpet, banjo and more, will create a masterful and sweeping sonic tapestry that will leave audiences wanting more.
The Mons Wheeler Band will follow with its blend of classic Rock’n’Roll, Bluegrass, Roots sounds before multiplatinum recording artist, Brian Kennedy headlines the bill at 3pm. Brian is not only a prolific songwriter but a master interpreter of lyrics as well, and audiences around the world continue to praise his exceptional vocal talents.
Finishing off the Sunday session on a high, the Unholy Gospel Band will deliver authentic American gospel music live and straight from the soul. Featuring songs by Mahalia Jackson, The Staple Singers, James Brown and much more, The Unholy Gospel Band, as the name suggests, ‘ain't holy but the music is gospel’ and is guaranteed to get your feet tapping and your hands clapping.
With so much on offer throughout the weekend, Visit Mourne is encouraging visitors to make a break of it and explore more of what the destination has to offer.
For the full festival line-up and further information on where to stay, eat, and for even more things to do during your stay here in Visit Mourne, please go to visitmournemountains.co.uk