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Red Sails Festival 2024 Launches with Packed Programme and Exciting New Events in Portstewart

local news Jun 06, 2024
Red Sails Festival 2024

The Red Sails Festival Committee, part of Portstewart Community Association launched this year’s Festival this evening in Bob and Bert’s cafe on the Promenade.

The week-long event begins on Sunday, July 21. It opens with an interdenominational service of the Blessing of the Boats, followed by a number of local acts.

Chair Sheila Jackson is delighted that Portrush Musical Society will stage a ‘Songs for John’ as a tribute to the late John McDowell, a long-standing trustee of both the Music Society and the Community Association. ‘We think it is a very fitting tribute to John who, through his work, his music and wide-ranging interests, was the very soul of the community.’

‘Overall, there are eighty events during the week’ she said, ‘and they are all in our brand new three page brochure. Many family-favourite acts are appearing this year: Willie Drennan and Orchestra, Andy Rodgers as Elvis, the Rhythm Rascals and of course for the  children Carnival Promotions, Mr Hullaballoo, superheroes and  face painter Lorraine Carmichael,  And don’t forget the dog show!’

Sheila added: ‘The new organising committee has not been resting on the Festival’s reputation. We have some very exciting new presentations. We have partnered with Flowerfield Art Centre to stage an art exhibition and host Northern Ireland Opera in the Park.  BBC Radio Ulster’s Vinny and Cate show will come from the beach and Harry’s Shack on Festival Tuesday, and on Festival Friday, we have teamed up with the National Trust and the Mae Murray Foundation to provide a fun day for young people of all abilities.  We have children’s workshops in Agherton Parish Centre and ofcourse the Festival ends with the traditional fireworks display and the music of Cellar Door.’

Deputy Chair Fiona Shannon is delighted with the new brochure and the event programme. ‘We are trying to remind people that Portstewart was a fishing village with our opening event and the maritime exhibition at the Harbour on Festival Saturday as well as a sea theme to the workshops and Art exhibition’. Sheila added ‘the use of two churches for two afternoon recitals will help to make this year’s Festival inclusive for all sections of the local community.’

The Festival Committee is grateful to the following for their support: Radius Housing, Causeway Coast and Glens Council, Maxwell Freight, and the many local traders who have donated raffle prizes and advertised in the new-style brochure, which can be found in many shops and cafes from the middle of June, as well as on the Community’s website,, and social media pages.

‘We hope that the Red Sails festival will show Portstewart is the best place to live and visit in Northern Ireland’.

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