Rathlin Sound and Sights

It’s here! The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival begins today and runs until Sunday 1st June 2014 with much to see, eat and hear! With a perfect mix of entertainment, sailing and artisan food on offer there is something for everyone.

Caroline Carey, Tourism Development Officer, Moyle District Council said, “Throughout the festival we have a host of activities for all ages and interests. We believe Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival 2014 has the perfect mix of activity and entertainment for everyone.

“Add to that, the breathtaking backdrop of the Causeway Coast and Glens and really, where else would you want to be.

“With the festival starting on Friday 23rd May the whole family can begin with planning their dressing up outfits. The children’s Fancy Dress Parade is on Friday 23rd May at 6.30pm leaving from the majestic Tall Ship in Ballycastle Harbour to parade through the town to the Diamond.

“Later in the evening the adults can show off their best Elizabeth Swann and Captain Jack Sparrow at the Pirate themed Fancy Dress Disco at Halo, Ballycastle.”

Over the following week there is much to do so don’t miss the opportunity to discover a hidden talent for sand sculpture design in the competition on the beach on Saturday 24th May.  Why not explore the Ballycastle town where the independent retailers have dressed their windows especially for the Festival courtesy of Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce.

Allow yourself to get away from the hustle and bustle of the seafront by taking a trip to Rathlin, where you can soak up the fascinating history of this ancient island at one of the many talks and exhibitions taking place for the duration of the festival.

The Blessing of the Boats on Monday 26 May is an ancient ceremony which has been brought back to life for the festival and a must see for anyone with an interest in maritime heritage.

It’s just one of the cultural events at the festival, which includes the traditional Curragh Racing at Ballycastle Seafront and the launch of an ancient Drontheim from the Harbour on Rathlin.

Michael Cecil of the Rathlin Community and Development Association said, “This festival is an opportunity to chronicle the unique maritime heritage of these communities and celebrate the special relationship between Rathlin Island and Ballycastle.”

“With all the activities and locations to choose from at this year’s Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival it’s going to be hard to decide where to begin so why not use our highlights guide to make your festival experience, plain sailing,” concluded Paul Kerrigan, Ballycastle Community Development Group.

Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is brought to you by Moyle District Council, Ballycastle Community Development Group and the Rathlin Development & Community Association, and sponsored by the Northern Ireland Tourist Board.

For further information about the festival log on to www.heartofthecausewaycoastandglens.com/maritimefestival or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre 028 2076 2024.

At a glance activities.

Friday 23rd May 2014

The Tall Ship sailing from Ballycastle Harbour

Seafood BBQ, The Diamond, Ballycastle

Saturday 24th May 2014

Various Sailing Taster Lessons, Beach and Marina, Ballycastle

Ballycastle Sailing Regatta

Cookery Demonstration, Seafront Ballycastle

Street Entertainer Competition, Seafront Ballycastle

Cabaret Evening with Kaz Hawkins, The Marine Hotel, Ballycastle

Sunday 25th May 2014

Various Sailing Taster Lessons, Beach and Marina, Ballycastle

Cookery Demonstration by Jenny Bristow, Seafront, Ballycastle

Ballycastle Big Lunch, Seafront, Ballycastle

‘Big Heads’, The Giants from Giant’s Causeway, Seafront Ballycastle

Monday 26th May 2014

Blessing of the Boats, Marina, Ballycastle

Showing of ‘The Shore’, Ferry Terminal, Ballycastle

Tuesday 27th May

Ship Wreck Exhibition, Rathlin Island

Ciaran Dempsey, Traditional Music gig, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Murder Mystery Event, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Wednesday 28th May

Guided Walk of Ballycastle Maritime Heritage, Meet at Visitor Information Centre

‘The Celtic Mist’, Irish Whale & Dolphin Group’s vessel, Seafront, Rathlin Island

‘Tales of an Explorer’, Talk by Jonathan Shackleton, cousin of Ernest, Manor House, Rathlin

Thursday 29th May

Drontheim Launch, Harbour Ballycastle

Exhibition by Dept. of Environment Marine Division, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Friday 30th May

Ardglass Vikings arrive in Ballycastle

Boat Trip, Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge & Seabirds of Rathlin, from the Marina, Ballycastle

Ballycastle Market on Rathlin Island

Hugo Duncan live from the Marquee, Rathlin Island, 1pm-3pm

Ardglass Viking arrive on Rathlin

Idylicc Dolls live at the Marquee, Rathlin Island

Saturday 31st May

Comhaltas groups, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Ulster Wildlife Touch Tanks, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Drontheim, Curraigh and Viking displays, Seafront Rathlin Island

‘Across The Water’ multi media performance, Seafront, Rathlin Island

Sunday 1st June

Boat Trip, Carrick-a-Rede Ropebridge & Seabirds of Rathlin, from the Marina, Ballycastle

Goats Don’t Shave, Marquee, Rathlin Island

Rathlin’s Big Lunch, Seafront, Rathlin Island.