Sunday, June 16, 2024


FIONN mac Cumhaill, the formidable centrepiece of Warrenpoint’s Wake the Giant Festival, is gearing up for an epic return to the seaside town on 19 and 20 August and the team helping to make this year’s event another giant success is looking for volunteers.

The festival will give visitors the chance to witness the iconic giant rising from the depths of Carlingford Lough to oversee an action-packed weekend of music and storytelling. Described as the biggest moving and speaking giant across the UK and Ireland, spectators will watch as Fionn takes to the water aboard the Carlingford Lough Ferry, stopping off at Rostrevor, Greenore, Carlingford and Omeath along the way to greet spectators, all the while flanked by an impressive flotilla of 40 boats. This year, Volunteer Now, Northern Ireland’s lead organisation for promoting and supporting volunteering, has joined the crew to make the spectacular festival bigger and better than ever. “We’re aiming to recruit 30 volunteers for each event to act as ‘meeters and greeters’ across the weekend,” Lindsay Armstrong, Community Projects Manager at Volunteer Now, said. “Providing visitors with a warm welcome and answering questions they might have from what activities are taking place to where refreshments can be bought, their involvement will add a personal touch, helping visitors get the most from their experience. “We would love local people to get involved to share their special insights into the area, making sure all involved have a wonderful weekend to remember,” Lindsay added.

Austin McCracken, from Donaghadee, has been involved with Volunteer Now for more than three years. He has already signed up to volunteer at the Wake the Giant Festival. “Volunteering is a fantastic pastime. It gets you out, meeting new people, building friendships and keeping you up to date with what’s going on in the world,” he said. “I’m from a bit up the road from Warrenpoint, but I know the area well – and how better to spend a few hours at the weekend than helping people have a great time around the beautiful shores of Carlingford Lough.” Councillor Valerie Harte, chairperson at Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, said she hopes many people will get involved with this event. “Wake the Giant is a fantastic festival which offers the chance to showcase a truly incredible part of the world,” said the council chairperson. “We’re looking forward to a fun-filled weekend for all the family, and with the support of local volunteers to share their expertise with visitors, this should be our best year yet,” Cllr Harte added. Anyone interested in volunteering at the event can email or phone Clara O’Callaghan, Volunteering Support Officer for Newry, Mourne and Down on 07999 118485.

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