After a three-year slumber, it is almost time to Wake the Giant!
Fionn mac Cumhaill, centrepiece of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council’s Wake the Giant festival, is back in Warrenpoint this month.
The two-day event celebrates the legend of giant Fionn mac Cumhaill, who first cast his spell over the town in August 2016, and over the years both the giant, the festival and visitor numbers have grown in size. During the festival weekend of Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 August, the town will be dwarfed by Fionn’s towering height and the mega programme of events.
Hailed to be the largest moving and speaking giant in the UK and Ireland, creator and local puppeteer, Francis Morgan, has completely transformed Fionn for this year’s event. At his tallest height yet, Fionn will oversee a family friendly festival of street performances, gigantic building decorations and mega food, drink, and accommodation specials.
Highlights of the festival include a great procession through the town on Saturday, led by Fionn who will be helped by local legend, the ‘Point Man’, played by actor Hugh Brown. Warrenpoint Municipal Park will be altered into The Land of Giantsfeaturing Giant family activities, the Giant’s Feast Food Village, a Giant games zone and Giant craft village.
Throughout the weekend, a host of musicians will take to the stage of the Park’s beautiful bandstand. Brian Kennedy, one of Ireland’s most inspired and revered ambassadors of music, headlines the bill and popular country music singer/songwriter, Catherine McGrath, returns home from Nashville. Crossmaglen singer/songwriter, Odhrán Murphy, whose music recently featured on the popular TV show, Love Island, also joins the line-up, along with Irish folk singer/songwriter Luka Bloom.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Michael Savage said, “Wake the Giant is one of the Council’s flagship events and I am delighted that it is returning to Warrenpoint where it has made its home since 2016 when it was first established as one of the major events under our Giant Adventures brand. Since then, we have worked to establish and grow the Giant Adventure festivals to inspire visitors and lead them to ‘our place’ as a holiday destination. It is more important than ever that we continue with this endeavour to support our local businesses and artists and create real economic benefits for our region this year and in the years ahead.”
Chairperson, Cllr Savage continued, “Everything about this year’s festival promises to be giant; a visual treat at every turn. The real wow factor will of course be the newly revamped Fionn that is hailed to be the largest talking and moving puppet throughout the UK and Ireland.”
On the first day of the festival crowds will be wowed when the spectacle of the wakened giant Fionn makes his way to the heart of Warrenpoint for the street performance of the show ‘Myth and Time’ before he bids farewell for the evening.
On the second and final day, festivities will continue at The Land of Giants in Warrenpoint’s Municipal Park before Fionn makes his return in the afternoon. The giant Fionn will awaken again from his sleep and perform ‘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.
Before he bids the crowds farewell for this year, Fionn will share his desire for us all to look after our environment better. Brought to life through the Myth and Time street performance, compostable food packaging, beach clean, tree planting and the Giant Craft Village, Fionn’s message about looking after the area and thinking about our surroundings for the future will be followed by a tree planting ceremony at The Giants Forest in Clonallon Park in the town.
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