Ballycastle and Rathlin Island have attracted over 15,000 visitors as the coastal location’s Maritime Festival got underway at the weekend.
The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, now in its fourth year, is a celebration of Northern Ireland’s rich and diverse maritime history and the unique stretch of water lying between Ballycastle and the magical island of Rathlin.
The festival will run from 27th May to 5th June and features a bustling schedule of events perfect for families, local foodies and boating enthusiasts, beginning with a unique boat blessing to open the festival.
The activities are endless! Kids can take a ride on the famous Tall Ship, The Johanna Lucretia. Take part in a pirate-themed Children’s Treasure Hunt, learn about the tales of Vikings and the myths and legends around the Causeway Coast’s famous giant, Finn McCool.
Ulster’s inaugural Chowder Cook Off took place featuring live cookery demonstrations from none other than Paula McIntyre, and music lovers heard country music sensation Lisa McHugh’s latest tunes on Sunday evening.
All of this in addition to racing yachts and fishing trips, powerboats and traditional hand-crafted rowing boats (curraghs) – every pace and taste is catered for over the festival’s busy itinerary.
Caroline Carey, Tourism Development at Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, shared her excitement for this year’s event, saying: “We are delighted to invite visitors back to Rathlin Island and Ballycastle for the fourth year of this superb festival. It is a fantastic mix of culture, entertainment, nature, sport and, of course, seafood.”
This year’s festival has been organised by the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Ballycastle Community Development Group, the Rathlin Development & Community Association, and the Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Sponsors include Tourism Northern Ireland, Malin Waters, Rathlin Boat House Partnership, Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd, Marine Hotel Ballycastle, Naturally North Coast & Glens Market and Causeway Coast and Glens Food Network.
For more information on the full Festival programme of activities in Ballycastle and on Rathlin Island, between 27th May and 5th June, visit www.rathlinsoundmaritimefestival.com