Something for everyone at Whitehead Summer Festival

Maureen Wilson, Maggie Bean and Sue Richards smile for the camera at the Whitehead Food and Folk Fest in 2016. INLT 31-006-PSB
Maureen Wilson, Maggie Bean and Sue Richards smile for the camera at the Whitehead Food and Folk Fest in 2016. INLT 31-006-PSB

There will be something for everyone as the annual Whitehead Summer Festival kicks off at the end of this month.

The popular event is organised by Whitehead Community Association (WCA) and this year will see the return of old favourites including the tea dance, Food and Folk Festival (August 4), fishing competition (August 9) and the raft race (July 28).

Valerie Ash and Noel Jenkins enjoy the tea dance at the 2015 festival.  INNT 30-515-SO

Valerie Ash and Noel Jenkins enjoy the tea dance at the 2015 festival. INNT 30-515-SO

Launching the festival programme, WCA chairman Bill Luney said: “The festival has long been a landmark on the town’s calendar and this year we have even more events than ever on our programme.

“The Festival kicks off on Friday, July 27 with a special Cinema Whitehead site-specific mystery screening of a classic love story, our annual tea dance for the young at heart in the Community Centre and the ever popular Bingo and Boogie at the Marine Bar.

“Saturday, July 28 sees two ‘Slideshows and Storytime’ sessions about living in, and the secrets of, the lighthouse with Steve Diamond. There will be a Cinema Whitehead special presentation for the younger ones, the ever-popular raft race and finishing the day with a gourmet flavour of India feast at Maud’s Café.”

The main feature of the programme is the Food and Folk Fest, to take place at Whitehead Recreation Grounds on Saturday August 4.

Folk group, Shindig entertaining the crowds at the 2016 Food and Folk Fest in Whitehead. INCT 30-020-PSB

Folk group, Shindig entertaining the crowds at the 2016 Food and Folk Fest in Whitehead. INCT 30-020-PSB

Organisers have once again joined forces with the international yarn festival, Yarnfolk, which will bring crafters from far and wide to the town.

As well as an array of food stalls, the Food and Folk Fest will include live local folk music all afternoon, along with a host of family fun and entertainment including Phil’s Farm, School of Falconry, steam train rides, bubble art, vintage cars, a climbing wall and inflatables.

Included in the jam-packed programme is a fun day organised by Wright’s Spar, along with Whitehead Garden Society’s annual show.

For the more active festival goer, there will be five-a-side soccer, golf, bowls, guided walks, cycling, and tennis and soccer tournaments.

Making a return will be the annual Molly Coppock Quiz in The Whitecliff Inn, which for the first time ever includes a ‘Quiz for Dummies’.

There will also be a series of talks and history walks by local historians, poetry with a local poet, story reading with local authors, craft workshops, a teddy bear’s picnic, the Biodiversity Summer School and pool competitions.

An exciting addition to this year’s line-up includes boat trips around the Gobbins and lighthouse; walking and food tours of Whitehead and the Antrim Coast, as well as dodgeball, Pilates and yoga taster sessions.

“The old tea house has introduced an intriguing ‘Tea and Tales’ session with renowned Glens story teller, Liz Weir,” added Bill.

“We have a Computer Summer Camp taking place over five days and a ‘Learn how to be a DJ’ event.

“I would personally like to thank all of the volunteers who put a lot of effort into organising this spectacular two week event and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude.

“This year Whitehead Community Association is pleased to support Whitehead’s own Hope House with the participation of Whitehead’s local businesses, shops and churches. So look out for our beautiful new coloured bunting, sponsored by Christopher Lynas, throughout the festival fortnight.

“Of course, all this needs some help so we would like to thank those organisations who are sponsoring the week: Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, Irish Salt Mines, Subway Carrickfergus, Translink, Cannon Hyundai Motors of Carrickfergus and Wright’s Spar.

“Don’t forget you can avail of Translink’s discounted travel to and from Whitehead - visit www.translink.co.uk to plan your journey.”

For further information, please contact Whitehead Community Association on 028 93 378077 or email whiteheadca@btconnect.com