Monday, 27 April 2015

Southend Maritime Festival

Southend Maritime Festival

A brand new festival is ready to set sail this summer, celebrating Southend-on-Sea’s relationship with the waveThe first ever Southend-on-Sea Maritime Festival (6-7 June 2015) promises to be a weekend of free nautical but nice activities, promotions and events for all the family. 

Southend-on-Sea will surely be on the crest of a wave as it celebrates its fascinating maritime history, heritage and visitor appeal during two lively days of fun on the seafront.

Leigh Maritime Festival

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council is organising the event to celebrate the maritime heritage of the borough.  Funding for the festival has been provided by the Coastal Communities Fund, to which the Council made a successful bid in 2013 to improve the Southend Seafront Economy and raise the profile of the history and culture of the area.

The all-new festival will include live music, celebrity chefs’ cookery demonstrations, wine tastings, opportunities to try your hand at rowing, sand castle-making and sculptures through to history talks and re-enactments.

Whether you’re a salty old sea dog, or confirmed landlubber, there’s plenty to see and do for everyone.

If you’ve ever wanted to design your own deck chair, head up Pier Hill to the nearby Royals Shopping Centre and unleash your creative instincts on this most iconic item of beach furniture. Budding poets can also take part in a competition with a chance to have their work published in the Echo newspaper.

The pier bandstand will be a focal point for more spoken word readings from professional writers and performers, whilst traditional and modern sea shanties will also be performed, as will several choral works from local choirs. The organisers have also invited local fishermen to talk about their ancient and often perilous trade, while actors will bring to life historic events from our maritime and naval past.

On the beach, renowned sand sculptor Mark Anderson will be demonstrating his craft and the Festival’s events team will be co-ordinating a series of creative sandcastle workshops.
There will be a number of opportunities to get crafty and make wind chimes, decorate sea shells and create your own seaside scene – in a jar!

The bounty of both land and sea will also feature strongly. Local shellfish are a real delicacy, so get ready to tuck into cockles, mussels, oysters and more. Fresh fish will also feature, as will locally-reared and produced meat, cheese, wine and beer. 
Celebrity chefs will also be dropping in to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and make the most of all the goodies you’ve bought in the Farmers’ Market. Southend College will be on hand to take your tastebuds on a culinary journey through time, plus masterclasses from The Great British Bake Off’s Cathryn Dresser.

Naturally, no day by the great British seaside is complete without having a picnic, so the Maritime Festival is inviting you to pack a hamper, rug and some folding chairs and join us on City Beach. There will be bouncy castles and free entertainment on our performance stage to enjoy as you nibble on your crisps and sandwiches. 

If you’ve still got room, there will be a food trail organised by Southend’s seafront traders for you to explore some of the traditional and more exotic flavours available along the esplanade.

At one time, tea dances were hosted by Royal Navy officers aboard their ships at naval stations. To bring this charming tradition back to life, the Maritime Festival will be organising dances and classes in association with Southend’s Lindy Hop Exchange.
Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development, says "I am delighted that we have secured external funding to run this event and I am looking forward to being involved and part of it. We have a Film Festival, Folk Festival, and a Jazz Festival so I am very pleased that this year we will also have a Maritime Festival that will explore our important relationship with the water and our wonderful seafront. This will be a wonderful event for all the family with a host of activities that will boost the seafront economy and be a great weekend for residents, businesses and visitors alike. I hope that it is well supported and could lead to it becoming a fixture in the Southend-on-Sea events calendar."

You can find out more at www.southendmaritimefestival.co.uk, on Facebook at ‘Southend Maritime Festival ‘or on Twitter #MaritimeFestival #Southend

The Southend-on-Sea Maritime Festival is support by Echo Newspapers and Radio Essex.

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