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Brightlingsea Events

Events 2018

08 February 2018

Blessing and Reclaiming of the Waters – 20th May 2018. Brightlingsea is the setting for a traditional Blessing at Rogationtide, as part of the annual Brightlingsea Regatta and Boat Show celebrations. Dignitaries of the Cinque Ports and civic officials in their regalia attend a brief religious service which takes place on board ship at the Hard; this is relayed by loudspeakers from the local yacht club so that everyone can hear it. Following the Blessing, the dignitaries take to the water to lead the Smack Flotilla procession along the Brightlingsea Creek, past the Hard to West Ness for Reclaiming the Waters which asserts the rights of the people of Brightlingsea to use the waters in their Liberty, in a traditional boundary-marking custom akin to Beating the Bounds on land. The origins of this lie in a historic dispute of the local oystermen with those from Colchester over the position of West Ness and while this is no longer an issue today, the colourful custom is kept alive as part of the town’s maritime heritage.

Brightlingsea Regatta – 2nd& 3rd June 2018. With easy access, free entrance and some free parking, come and enjoy boat races, displays, rescue demonstrations, competitions and fun on the water. Don’t miss the fantastic fireworks display on Saturday night - great views all along the waterfront and beyond! Fancy trying something new? Have a go at a try-a-boat session for power boats and sailing boats, plus paddle boarding and kayaking. As you stroll along the beach, don’t forget to stop off at the boating lake to watch the model boats racing. There will be plenty of boats on display plus many yachts dressed especially for the weekend. Enjoy this fantastic family weekend relaxing in the sun whilst watching boats on the water or entertainment on dry land including performances from majorettes, street dancers, plus live music from local bands at various venues throughout the weekend. To keep the children entertained there will be competitions, novelty balloons, duck racing, entertainers, face painting, games and displays. You certainly won’t go hungry - ample food and drink to suit all tastes including BBQ, hog roast, fish & chips, Chinese, Indian, pubs / wine bars and ice cream! Find our page on Facebook to keep updated for what’s on in this year’s Regatta!

Brightlingsea Carnival - 16th June 2018. Brightlingsea Carnival has been running for many years, and is enjoyed by young and old alike. This year the theme is ‘Land, Sea and Air Services’ and you will see the theme incorporated throughout the carnival itself. With a procession including Carnival Queens and Princesses, floats, schools and playschools, bands, dance groups, cheerleaders, and majorettes, it is a fun, colourful and crowd-pleasing event. here will also be a selection of food and drink stalls, enough that everyone will have something to satisfy their hunger! A fun day for all the family, we would love to see you there.

Brightlingsea Free Music Festival August 2018 (exact date tbc). Brightlingsea Free Music Festival is a fantastic event for our local town giving musicians the ability to showcase their original song writing ability and allow them to perform their songs in front of a live friendly audience on Hurst Green. The local pubs always support the event and will continue the spirit of the festival by having local bands playing Friday and Saturday evening. For more information, or to keep an eye for the exact date, visit

Brightlingsea Town Show - 27th August 2018. Brightlingsea & District Horticultural Society’s 104th Town Summer Show & Companion Dog Show takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, 27th August 2018 at the Community Centre in Lower Park Road. The show opens at 12 noon and the entrance fee to view the exhibits is £1. Accompanied children go free. With displays and judging on photographs, flowers, fruit and vegetables, handicrafts and cookery, you will enjoy wandering around and seeing all there is to offer. There will also be stalls offering locally made jams, honey and many more tempting nibbles for you to sample whilst also watching the dog show take place. This is always a lovely day out, and enjoyed by many.

Brightlingsea Food and Drink Festival August 2018 (exact date tbc). This new event will showcase the best local food and drink suppliers, alongside a great range of international street food, arts, crafts and gifts. There will be a real ale marquee featuring beers from local breweries, and a Prosecco bar too if fizz is more your thing? Come and browse the market for some quality produce or relax with a picnic and listen to the music. With free entry for kids, bouncy castles & ice cream, it will be a feast of fun for all the family! Keep up to date with plans and dates by finding us on Facebook.

UK Tornado National Championship – 28th September 2018. In 2018 the UK Tornado fleet are heading to the home of catamaran sailing in the UK, the birth place of the Tornado. Over the weekend of the 29th and 30th September we’ll be running our national championships as part of Reg Fest. Racing will be on Saturday and Sunday; most people arrive on Friday for boat set up and prep.

Classic Car Show – 2nd September 2018 This year’s event sees the return of over 400 classic cars, live bands, classic tea room with home-made cakes, ice creams, various stalls, fun fair rides, Dog display, fire brigade, beer tent, archery, tug of war competition, and many other attractions making it a great day out for the whole family. Find us on Facebook to see what we have lined up for you this year!

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© Brightlingsea Harbour Commissioners 2018

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