Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council is working with Ballycastle Community Development Group and Rathlin Development and Community Association to bring you this hugely popular celebration, with a packed programme of activities on both dry-land and at sea, inspired by the Rathlin Sound – the body of water connecting Rathlin Island to the mainland in Ballycastle.
Visitors can look forward to live music performances, ‘have a go’ activities, crafts, walks, talks and lots of artisan produce which celebrate the area’s rich local history, culture, music, and food.
There’ll also be a special visit from tall ship ‘The Leader’, a traditionally rigged sailing vessel, who will moor in Ballycastle throughout the festival. Get on board for a tour, enjoy a sail around the bay or simply admire the beauty of this majestic boat from the harbour.
In addition, thanks to Causeway Coast Maritime Heritage Group, you’ll get to see traditional fishing boats like drontheims and currachs take to the water, including the Colmcille, one of the largest vessels of its type in Northern Ireland.
In other programme highlights, look out for the blessing of the boats, an appearance by the Vikings, a colourful kite display and an exciting demonstration from Red Bay RNLI to mark its 50th anniversary.
Looking ahead, the Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Councillor Richard Holmes, said: “Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is about inspiring a passion for the sea, as well as celebrating Ballycastle and Rathlin Island’s shared nautical heritage. It is a fantastic showcase of the area’s unrivalled tourism product and it brings a unique vibrancy which has been enjoyed by thousands of visitors since it first began.
“I know it is highly anticipated every year as a highlight of our Borough’s events calendar, and Council is very grateful to the local community volunteers who play a central role in its success.”
The full programme will be published on the festival’s website soon so please visit www.rathlinsoundmaritimefestival.com for the latest updates or contact Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre by ringing 028 2076 2024.
Please note, details are subject to change due to tides and weather conditions, so visitors are advised to follow the Festival’s Facebook (@RathlinSoundMaritimeFestival) and Twitter (@RathlinSoundMF) channels for the most up-to-date announcements.