When: 21st – 23rd July 2017
Where: Bristol city centre
What is it?
Bristol Harbour Festival, one of the country’s largest free festivals, returns from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd July with a special programme celebrating the city’s incredible maritime heritage.
Now in its 46th year, Bristol Harbour Festival is set along four miles of the city centre. This year’s programme will put Bristol’s iconic harbour and docks at the heart of the festival. Over 250 vessels of all shapes and sizes will be tied up at every available mooring space, including familiar sights such as the Matthew, ss Great Britain and the city’s colourful ferries.
Highlights this year will include three tall ships sailing into the harbour; the Kaskelot, The Earl of Pembroke and the Phoenix. The Royal Navy’s Hunt Class Ship will also return, alongside two Archer Class P2000s, The Royal Navy’s fast training boats.
One of the largest remaining wooden ships in commission, the Kaskelot underwent a full restoration in 2014 at Bristol’s historic Underfall Yard. This year the Kaskelot will be open to the public to explore the bowels of the boat and discover the inner workings of the magnificent vessel.
The Earl of Pembroke will also return home for the weekend. The current rigging has been designed and built to resemble Captain Cook’s famous HMS Endeavour. The Phoenix was originally built as an Evangelical Mission Schooner but since refitting has sailed on to be the star of numerous television productions and big screen movies.
Between them, these three famous ships have graced the screens in hit films such as Return to Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers, Alice in Wonderland and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
Alongside the docks programme, four miles of harbourside, stretching from the Underfall Yard on Cumberland Road into the City Centre and up to Castle Park, will be transformed by a diverse range of stalls, activities and performances showcasing the city’s talent and skills. There will be a programme of free, family friendly activities, including circus performances and baby racing.
Bristol Harbour Festival is the city’s flagship free family event and cultural celebration. Running for more than 40 years, it has become Bristol Council’s largest event in its annual events programme. The festival celebrates Bristol’s harbourside with a programme of arts and cultural activity, providing local businesses, communities, cultural organisations and artists with an opportunity to come together and participate in a large-scale celebration of the city.