Now with the long Easter weekend unfortunately over, I feel it’s time to start planning the Summer… and what better way to begin than with a whole new festival.

2015 marks the first ever year of the Southend Maritime Festival!

Ever since the sad news about the cancellation of this year’s Southend Airshow, we’ve been waiting for a Summertime pick-me-up. It was recently announced that there will be a brand new seaside festival for Southend-on-Sea, promising all of the seaside excitement that we all crave during those hot Summer weeks. The Southend Maritime Festival 2015 promises all that and more, with every inch of traditional nautical pastimes which one would expect from a maritime festival – doused in a bucket full of Southend goodness!

The Southend Maritime Festival 2015 is being funded by the Coastal Communities Fund, to which Southend-on-Sea Borough Council successfully made a bid in 2013 with aim to improve the Southend Seafront Economy and raise the profile of Southend’s too often forgotten history and culture.

Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism and Economic Development:

“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.”

Southend Seaside Maritime Festival 2015

Not only will the Southend Maritime Festival take every opportunity to celebrate our town’s rich maritime history and heritage, the two-day festival will see a host of different maritime and seaside activities on both land and sea! Plans include sand castle sculpting workshops, rowing and all sorts of crafty seaside events, such as sea shell decorating, wind chime making and “seaside in a jar” workshops. Renowned sand sculptor, Mark Anderson, will be be there to demonstrate his famous sand-sculpting skills.

Southend Seaside Sand Castles

 On Southend Pier, the bandstand will buzzing with live entertainment as salty sea dogs perform traditional and modern sea shanties to the crowds. There will also be local choirs and spoken word readings from professional writers and performers. Local fishermen have been invited to share their tales of the trade with eager ears, as actors bring to life the historic stories of peril and pride from Southend’s own maritime and naval past.

Southend Pier Maritime Festival

On top of all the family-fun activities, you’ll have the opportunity to tuck into Southend’s local delicacy – shellfish. So you can stuff yourself silly with mussels, cockles, oysters and more. As well as plenty of fresh fish and locally reared and produced meats, cheeses, wine and beer from the Farmers’ Market. Southend Maritime Festival will also feature a food trail organised by Southend’s seafront traders, so that you can explore the variety of food along the esplanade.

Why not complete the family day out with a picnic on City Beach! Southend Maritime Festival is inviting everyone to pack a hamper, rug and some folding chairs for a seaside community picnic – with bouncy castles and free entertainment on the performance stage! What could be lovelier…

And a little something for the adults perhaps?

If you feel a bit too old to really appreciate the sandier things in life, you won’t be left out at Southend Maritime Festival 2015. As well as live music to enjoy, and cookery demonstrations by celebrity chefs, you’ll be happy to know that there will be wine tastings. So you can say no to sandy toes, and opt for a glass of Summer wine instead! Instead you can get those toes a-tapping with the retro dancing classes provided by Southend’s Lindy Hop Exchange!

You can visit our Southend Maritime Festival 2015 event page here!

Or find out more by checking out their website or Facebook!

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