Monday, May 21 2018

Published on June 9 2017. News
Festival gears up for launch
Strand Quay filled with boats and stalls for the last Maritime Festival

Festival gears up for launch

Last year Strand Quay seemed strangely empty in August. For the first time in many years there was no Maritime Festival. The popularity of the event with many visitors crowding into the restricted space of the Quay finally proved too much and the organisers felt they could no longer carry on.

The raft race in a previous year

However, that was before Liz Pendennis and her colleagues from Christmas in Rye took up the baton. Now plans are well advanced for the new Festival of the Sea to have its launch this year on July 22. there is still much to be done, but the day will start with a resurgence of the Raft Race on the Rother, a tug of war and, for the children, bumper boats. There is no doubt that the raft race will be a popular addition to the day. It used to be a regular fixture on the Rye calendar and there is nothing the spectators like better than watching an immaculately-prepared raft slowly disintegrating under the efforts of its crew to paddle it along. This year the audience will be drummed along from Monkbretton Bridge by the Bonfire boys and led by the town crier.

Live music is planned throughout the day and the usual stalls will line the Quay and Strand area and the Heritage Centre has a ‘message in a bottle’ competition for young people with some 20 shops throughout the town participating.

We understand that more events are planned and the organisers will be unveiling these in due course. But it is clear already that this new celebration of our maritime heritage is quickly going to make its mark amongst the list of annual Rye festivals.

Photo: Rye News Library and Festival of the Sea

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