Whitby’s streets will be alive with fun-filled and free family entertainment when new seaside spectacular, the Fish & Ships Festival, takes over the town on May 18 and 19.
Madcap comedy, movie-making, music – even mermaids – add up to a weekend of non-stop entertainment from morning until night for people of all ages in a giant celebration of Whitby’s magnificent maritime culture – its fish and ships.
Free festival highlights include:
Live seafood demos throughout the day in the Food Theatre, including appearances by TV chefs Brian Turner and Jean-Christophe Novelli. Families can also find out how to catch, dress and eat Whitby crab. Families can decorate ship’s biscuits, once essential as sailor’s rations.
Visitors who dare to walk into the jaws of the whale will be surprised to discover their own personal story-telling submarine, with thrilling tales of life at sea sung by submariner, Jonah.
Flotsam and Jetsam will create music and mayhem as they take a wandering walkabout with their comedy fishing boats in the slowest boat race visitors will ever have seen
Come face to face with people from Whitby’s past including a herring girl, 19th-Century whaler-man, Ol Abel Parkin who voyaged with Captain Cook in the 18th Century and a local mermaid who knows all about the tasty local seafood. They’ll also be showing visitors how to build a crow’s nest – a lookout teetering on the top of a ship’s mast
Enjoy more than 40 hours of free, live maritime music, including top-tapping sea shanties and soulful sailor’s ballads, with some of the UK’s top sea-singers and musicians performing throughout the town.
Make aqua-world movies Wallace & Gromit-style with Aardman animator Virpi Kettu in Whitby Library on May 18 (10am to midday and 1-3pm in half-hour drop-in workshops).
Artist Serena Partridge will show visitors how to cook up a felted fish supper on Sunday 19 May, also in Whitby library.
Local attractions are also getting in the festival spirit with free family activities celebrating Whitby’s fish and ships, including the Lego Shipbuilding Competition at Whitby Museum; taking on the ammonite quest at Whitby Abbey; or finding out just how disgusting ship’s food really was in the past on board HM Bark Endeavour.
A quayside firework finale takes place from 10pm on May 18.
Janet Deacon, festival organiser and Tourism and Corporate Marketing Manager for Scarborough Borough Council and Area Director for Welcome To Yorkshire, said: “Whitby is one of the few places left in Britain where you can still experience the seafarer’s way of life from sea to shore.”