A fantastic weekend of fun and activities, both on and off the water, is planned for this year’s Yarmouth Old Gaffers’ Festival (25 – 27 May). Being held a little earlier than previous years because of the Diamond Jubilee, the event will also celebrate sixty years of the Queen’s reign. Royal look alike Mary Reynolds will be taken around the town in a horse drawn carriage before performing the grand opening on The Quay, at 12 noon on Friday 25 May.
Now in its 16th year, around 100 visiting gaff rigged vessels are expected to fill Yarmouth Harbour, and some will race in the Solent on Saturday morning. There will be non-stop free day-time entertainment in and around The Square and in The Marquee on The Quay. Many acts will be performing, such as singer Derek Sandy, Voxpop, Carribean Melody Street Band, the Slipshod Singers, La Banda Martinez, Fidgety Feet and street entertainers Vince and Richard. Appearing for the first time this year will be Boogie Woogie Pianos and the Island’s modern jive dance group called Team LeRoc. Other popular attractions include international market stalls with a huge variety of interesting and unusual products for sale, food stalls and Craft Marquee, The Britannia Real Ale Bar, veteran and classic vehicle display and Air Sea Rescue demonstration with the RNLI Lifeboat. St James’ Church will host the wonderful and colour Flower Festival and the Children’s Fun Fair will be situated on The Green.
On Friday and Saturday evenings, there will be dancing in The Marquee, on the Quay, to live bands. Popular DJ Rob da Bank, of Bestival fame, along with Sombrero Sound System will be presenting the amazing Cuban Brothers, Skinny Lister (an extremely hot new Folk Indie Band) and a musical comedy act Abandoman on Friday evening. During the evening, there will be prizes awarded for the best dressed King and Queen. On Saturday, the live music will be provided by three tribute bands, Queen B, Abbas Angels and ‘Rod Stewart’. Tickets are £8 and are available at Wightlink booking offices in Yarmouth and Lymington and at the Southern Vectis Bus Kiosk in Yarmouth.
The Park and Ride scheme will be in operation, with parking at Bouldnor. Cars can also be parked in the Festival Car Park in Yarmouth at £5 per car per day.
Image courtesy Roger Cox of Bristol