Warrenpoint gets ready to Wake the Giant

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Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

The Wake the Giant Festival is back on Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 August in Warrenpoint – the last of this summer’s Giant Adventures in Newry, Mourne and Down for 2019.

Finn, the character at the heart of local folklore, is the star of this Festival in the form of an impressive 32-foot model marionette.

Each year, the giant Finn makes an epic journey to appear in Warrenpoint at the end of August. 

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On this fun-filled Festival weekend, townspeople and visitors will all compete to find the most creative and fun ways to wake the sleeping giant.



Renowned playwright and actor Dan Gordon has written a specially commissioned script to bring the story to life this year. 

He told Newry Times, “Local legend has it that there is a giant sleeping in the Cooley Mountains on the far shore of Carlingford Lough, overlooking Warrenpoint. This Festival is a brilliant way to keep local folklore alive by spinning the old yarns for a new generation.

“The story sees the enormous Finn McCool sleeping (and we hear his snores roaring across the town!) 

“Finn’s mum, desperate to wake him, calls upon her grandson, Oisin, the greatest poet in Ireland, for help. Together with his granny, Oisin must do battle with the mythical Hag Witch, Calliagh Berra, who, it is fabled, has come to steal away the youth of the children of Mourne. 

He added, “This Festival calls for the whole population of the town of Warrenpoint to do whatever it takes to help Wake the Giant before the spell takes hold for ever!”



The story of Finn and his folklore friends is brought to life through theatre, music, character performances and storytelling throughout the town on Saturday, culminating in a colourful, interactive moving theatre through the town at 4pm. 

Children of all ages can expect to get involved in fun challenges and games along the route. From 12noon – 6pm come along to the Artisan Market in Warrenpoint Municipal Park and enjoy the atmosphere with children’s entertainment, live music and much more.

Councillor Charlie Casey, Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down District Council has called on visitors to join the event and lend a hand. “I would urge anyone who hasn’t been at this event before to come and join in the energetic and hilarious attempts by Warrenpoint’s shopkeepers, business people and townspeople to wake the giant. 



“Previous years’ attempts have involved specially developed local recipes, giant medicine bottles, songs and spells chanted by the crowd. This is a brilliant, entertaining, light-hearted event to end the summer season in one of our most beautiful spots,” he added.

The event is a FREE two-day festival by Newry, Mourne & Down District Council with the moving theatre at 4pm in the town on Saturday as attempts are made by the local businesses to wake the slumbering giant as his friends proceed with Finn through the town. 

Dan Gordon issued a warning, “This is the best craic of the summer. If we’re lucky enough to Wake the Giant, he’s a big lad at 32 feet tall – this is a spectacle not to be missed!”

Check www.visitmournemountains.co.uk/WakeTheGiant and #WakeTheGiant in the lead up to the event and keep your eyes peeled as Finn makes his epic journey back to Warrenpoint. 

Folklore has it there will be some BIG and SMALL surprises in store along the way.



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