This month, Kent will be celebrating its traditional hop harvest with two quirky festivals…
Faversham Hop Festival
When: 1st & 2nd September 2018
Where: Faversham, Kent
£: Free. Parking costs £5 for the day
What is it?
Follow the hop-pickers trail to the ancient hopping and brewing town of Faversham, for one of the biggest free street festivals in the South East. Faversham Hop Festival will take place in Kent on Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September.
For many years the working classes of the East End of London would journey down to Kent to work on the hop harvest. Entire families would decamp from the crowded streets of London, to the fresh air and open spaces of rural Kent. Home would be set up in little tin shacks, and after hard days in the hop gardens evenings would often be spent around the campfire with music, song and dance; along with pints of Kentish Beer!
Faversham Hop Festival is a grand celebration of those times with music, song and dance once more resounding in the streets. Five music stages are supported by folk dancers, craft beer brewers, artisan food producers, and a funfair.
An essential accessory for any visitor to this festival is the traditional hop garland, which will be available from various points in the town. These hop garlands will be worn by the performers as they parade through the town each day. The Sunday parade will include a traditional ‘Blessing of the Hop Harvest’.
More info: www.favershamhopfestival.org
Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival
When: 8th & 9th September 2018
Where: Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, Lock Lane, Sandling, Maidstone, Kent ME14 3AU
£: Tickets from £7.40
What is it?
The Hops ‘n’ Harvest Beer Festival, a two-day family event at Kent Life Heritage Farm Park, will take place on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th September, with live music, historical characters, hop-picking, and local ales.
Over the weekend, visitors will be able to see one of the last working coal-fired oast houses in the country, learn about the hop picking process, and taste around 50 different beers and ciders.
There will be two stages with live music from Blackfoot Daisy, Skinners Rats, Aid Lewis Band, Hobo and the Hippies, and Contraband. For children there will be indoor and outdoor play areas and Sooty shows in the big top to watch.
More info: www.kentlife.org.uk