Myra Zepf, the first ever Children’s Writing Fellow for Northern Ireland, is set to create the magical story behind this year’s Footsteps in the Forest. From kidnapped dragons and a mischievous witch to elves, fairies and druids, these are just some of the characters you could bump into at the Footsteps in the Forest Festival in Slieve Gullion.
The two-day event returns on Saturday 4 and Sunday 5 August when actors will guide adventure-seekers through the forest in a theatrical tour in search of dragons and to help overcome Gullion’s witch, the Cailleach Bheara.
The Footsteps in the Forest Festival is part of the wider Giant Adventures programme, a major series of family festivals organised by Newry, Mourne and Down District Council to showcase the region’s breath-taking mountains, coastline and mythical stories.
Speaking on the story at the heart of this year’s festival, Myra Zepf says: “This is a story full of colourful characters – both age-old and brand new – but what makes it so special is that it requires the audience themselves to play their part, find their courage and help defeat the witch. It has been an absolute joy to write.”
Councillor Mark Murnin, Chairman of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said: “Footsteps in the Forest has been hugely successful and is an unmissable weekend festival of story-telling, arts, culture, food and heritage for the very young to the very old. The beauty of Slieve Gullion Forest, steeped in myth and legend, is an ideal backdrop for this magical festival. We are delighted to have laureate Myra Zepf involved in creating the enchanting story behind this year’s event. It is set to be a fairy-tale adventure for the whole family.”
Tours last 50 minutes and start at 10.20am on Saturday and 11am on Sunday –the last tour on each day will be at 5.40pm. The forest walk will be closed to visitors EXCEPT for those booked onto the tours.
There will also be a market featuring local food produce and musicians performing throughout the weekend. Other activities include face painting, balloon modelling, Nature mask making, a puppet show and much more.
Footsteps in the Forest is supported by Tourism NI. For further information about Footsteps in the Forest and the Giant Adventures programme visit www.visitmournemountains.co.uk