Pirates to invade Portrush this weekend!

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The streets of Portrush will be transformed this weekend into a wonderland where Pirates, Vikings, Medieval Knights and Jacobean Soldiers will welcome and entertain children of all ages.

Portrush Heritage Group’s Pirates Off Portrush and Medieval Fair will take place this Saturday and Sunday, July 2-3.

Like all good children’s stories this year’s Pirates Off Portrush starts with ‘Once upon a time’.

The story goes: in a far away land called Ireland there was a pirate by the name of Tavish Dhu who camped on the Skerries off the coast of Portrush. Tavish and his cutthroat crew sailed the waters off the North Coast of Ireland robbing and pillaging ships until there were no more ships to rob and sink.

He decided to roam further afield into the seas off the West Coast of Ireland in to the relm of Grace O’Malley the Pirate Queen of Ireland.

He robbed Grace’s castle stealing all her treasure and returned to Portrush with Grace in pursuit. To find out what happened next you will have to come to Portrush this Saturday!

The organisers are promising a Pirate Spectacular with two Pirate Ships doing battle around the streets of Portrush.

The programme starts at 11am from the Atlantic (former Ramada) Hotel with a Pirate Treasure Hunt and Face Painting.

Also at 11am there is an opportunity to visit the Pirate Marquee on Kerr Street Green, climb the Pirate Wall, get you face painted and meet Tavish Dhu and The

Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley.

At 12 noon popular local entertainer Brian Moore gets the fun in the Amphitheatre started with a Pirate Dance and Pirate Dress Competition followed at 12:30 with a chance to see a hip-hop, funk and break dancing display by Iconic Street Dance.

At 12:45 drop into the Pirate Marquee on Kerr Street Green to hear internationally renowned Irish Story teller Liz Weir bring our Maritime Heritage to life.

The Pirate drama begins at 2:00 when Tavish confronts the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. The Portrush Theatre Company will be acting out the drama with dance numbers provided by Victoria Lagan Dance.

At 2:45 the two Pirate Ships set out on a journey around town with the pirates joined in the chase by young pirates, an 8 piece Samba Band, a Giant Pirate, Big Head Characters, and vehicles from RNLI Beach Rescue and HM Coastguard. A stop at Antrim Gardens provides an opportunity for Tavish and Grace to resolve their differences before the defeated pirates are led back through the town to face a watery-end on the plank in the Amphitheatre.

We’ll have pictures in next week’s edition!