Maritime Festival: Thousands visit Derry's quay

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Image caption Derry City and Strabane District Council says thousands of people have already visited the quay

The smell of Italian food and Donegal fish drifts across the River Foyle as you stand below the Ferris wheel on Londonderry's quay.

The Maritime Festival has become one of the city's favourite events over the years and thousands of people have been enjoying the atmosphere already.

The nine day festival focuses on the city's rich maritime heritage but also celebrates the return of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.

Some of the crew members have circumnavigated the world. Now, they are relaxing along the quay having a coffee or a locally brewed beer.

The Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, John Boyle, said: "This festival generates an income for the local economy.

"For every £1 that the council has invested in this festival, we are seeing £2.20 come back in to the economy.

"It's great for hotels, restaurants and bars."

Image caption Food stalls along the quay have been popular with French and Italian cuisine on the menu

Event co-ordinator, Helena Hasson, said: "The opening weekend of the Foyle Maritime Festival has been superb.

"Thousands have turned out already. Everyone has been coming out to see the Clipper yachts and enjoy the huge number of events taking place along the river including our hugely successful Flavours of the Foyle and the Irish navy boat tours.

"We have a great line up of live music on our main stage throughout the week too in the festival village."

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Image caption A fire and water show attracted thousands of people in 2014

A spectacular show called Voyages will take place in the River Foyle on Friday evening with a fireworks display.

It will be a journey through time in an evening of music, dance and theatre.

'Smiling faces'

Conall Morrison from Derry and Roseann McGlinchey from Lifford arrived home to a cheering crowd after 11 months at sea.

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Media captionIt took the Derry duo just over 14 days to finish the sixth and final ocean crossing of their year-long circumnavigation.

They finished their penultimate race in seventh place after completing the 3,000 nautical mile journey across the Atlantic Ocean from New York City.

It took the local duo just over 14 days to finish the sixth and final ocean crossing of their year-long circumnavigation.

'Wonderful sounds and smells'

Mary Loughrey, from Strabane, told BBC News NI: "It's really refreshing to see so many smiling faces along the quay.

"There's been a lot of negativity in the media recently so this is lovely to see.

"I took my four children down to try some different foods. Of course all they wanted was the sugary donuts.

"I hope everyone enjoys the week and takes in the wonderful sounds and smells. Derry knows how to put on a show."

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