When: 10th & 11th September 2016
Where: South Quay, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk
£: Free, but there is a suggested donation of £1 per person, to help fund the festival. There is a small charge to go aboard the vessels.
What is it?
The Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival will take place on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th September, along the length of South Quay. The festival will feature wacky street theatre, live shanty music, exhibitions, activities and ships.
The annual festival will see a fleet of fascinating vessels mooring up for the event. This will include the Regal Lady pleasure boat, returning to the port where she was built and the local waterways where she took thousands of trippers on fun voyages. She is among an armada of guest ships which includes historic sailing and military ships, and lifeboats.
Vessels to visit at the festival include the Earl of Pembroke, a 44m long schooner from 1945 which has been in more than a dozen films and TV series; and Lydia Eva, the last steam drifter built at King’s Lynn, now restored as a living museum of the herring fishery.
This year’s festival also features jet ski stunt displays on the river. Visitors will be able to watch choreographed back flips, barrel rolls, and dives, by the DJR Freestyle Riders at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3.30pm on both days, plus 4.30pm on Saturday.
The quayside will be lined with the sounds of live sea shanty music, smells of herring cooking in a throwback to the town’s fishery heydays, along with street entertainment, crafts and children’s activities.
The Norfolk Ninja Knitters will be aiming to add some woolly trimmings to some of the street furniture along the quay, specially for the festival. The Inner State Theatre Company will provide the maritime-themed wacky street theatre. East Coast Militia will be carrying out a new battle scene re-enactment and musket fire from the eve of Waterloo.
There’ll be shanty and folk singers on the main stage, at the Fo’c’sle acoustic performance area, and at Horatio’s bar. Acts include Bob Fox, Tom Lewis, Four’n’Aft, Capstan Full Strength, Jenkins Ear, El Pony Pistador, Baggyrinkle, Mollyhawks, and Blakeney Old Wild Rovers. Wrentham Brass Band will play on Sunday.
Other entertainment will include a vintage mobile cinema showing maritime themed short films, and free heritage walks. The town hall will host The Biggest Untold Story of WW2, unpublished archive footage of rescue tugs by songwriter and D-Day veteran Jim Radford.
Children’s activities will include making a pirate’s hat or jellyfish in the craft marquee, and making a dragonfly, butterfly feeder and flying wristband with the RSPB. There’ll also be nature exploration with the Norfolk Wildlife Trust, and Punch and Judy shows.
The festival will also feature rope making, art, pottery, gansey making, spinning, lace-making, crafts, boat building, fisheries, marine conservation, and charity stalls.
The Great Yarmouth Maritime Festival is organised by the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority and is one of the biggest annual events in the area. The festival aims to promote the area’s proud maritime heritage.
More info: www.great-yarmouth.co.uk/maritime-festival