Festival nets more than 30,000 visitors

There was something fishy going on down at Bexhill seafront last weekend when it hosted the third annual Festival of the Sea, reeling in a catch of over 30,000 people.

6/9/14- Bexhill Festival of The Sea. SUS-140609-131753001
6/9/14- Bexhill Festival of The Sea. SUS-140609-131753001

The two-day family event (September 6-7) celebrates everything great about the sea and was officially opened on Saturday by Bexhill and Battle MP Greg Barker and Bexhill Town Mayor Cllr Brian Kentfield. Main sponsor Alistair Hazel also attended.

Life was definitely a beach as Bexhill basked in glorious sunshine on Sunday with anglers competing in competitions along the seafront. The ‘Fishing Simulator’ proved popular and free casting and coaching gave prospective anglers the chance to have a go at catching a whopper.

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Stalls gave visitors the opportunity to sample an array of delicious fresh fish dishes and Billingsgate Cookery school presented cooking demonstrations.

A new addition to the festival was the Angling Village which featured local tackle shops and major manufacturers.

Chairman of the Festival of the Sea, Cllr Simon Elford, had promised the event would be bigger and better than ever before and with an increase of over 10,000 on last years visitor count he said he was delighted with the result. “What a wonderful weekend!

“We couldn’t have picked a better one for weather. Saturday although overcast was our busiest day yet and with the sun out on Sunday people were out early and we just got busier.

“There was a wonderful family atmosphere and all the stalls seemed to be very busy with many of the food stalls selling out. The Billingsgate chefs continue to be very popular and drew large crowds all day.”

Throughout the festival an array of entertainment was to be found at the De La Warr Pavilion including The Fishwives Choir, The Hastings Sea Shanty Singers, Mad Jack Morris and The David Sinclair Four.

Cllr Elford added: “The committee would like to thank all our generous sponsors - also the volunteers who helped out this year not only during the festival but everyone who helped us set up and clear everything away and of course to all the visitors helping this year to be our most successful yet.

“We our already making plans for next years event and can’t wait to see you all there.”