Old Town Carnival Week: a preview

THE INIMITABLE Old Town Carnival Week has come around again with a jam-packed programme to suit all ages and tastes.

Old Town Week is celebrating its 50th year, first held by the Old Hastings Preservation Society in 1962. The first Old Town Carnival was held in 1969.

Every summer since then the Old Town community has thrown open its doors, garden gates and streets to all for a week of events raising money for local good causes.

Entertainment will come in the form of 13 different guided walks, seven open gardens, two historic houses, talks and exhibitions, in addition to all the favourites.

This weekend (July 28 and 29) is the beach concert, which takes place next to the lifeboat station and features some of the brightest local musical talent. The line-up for Saturday includes South of Saturn, Black Sheep, Ugenix, Lost Boys, Arivmia and Vendetta.

While on Sunday, catch the likes of Titus, Kosmic Dogs, The Luvverleys, and Slam.

Pirates will be out in force once again tomorrow, as Courthouse Street plays host to a pirate picnic and fancy dress competition, from 11am.

In the afternoon will be the Crowning of Hastings Old Town Carnival Queen at Winkle Island at 2.30pm followed by a procession around the Old Town.

A new addition to the programme is Day of the Triffids, an interactive game that will be played on Sunday throughout the Old Town, and aims to raise £10,000 for St Michael’s Hospice. Described as a giant game of ‘it’, Triffids in full costume will, hide, lurk and pounce on the participants as they solve clues around Hastings Old Town.

Courthouse street will be closed all day Monday (July 30) for the annual Fun Day, which includes The Great Whelk Eating Competition at followed by the Sea Boot Race.

The annual Bike Race for the Jimmy Read Memorial Trophy is on Tuesday in Crown Lane, from 5.30pm. A limited number of the collectable Bike Race posters, both unsigned and signed by the artist are available at Deeday’s, in Courthouse Street, The Fishermen’s Museum, and Hastings History House.

On Wednesday, August 1, is the Pram Race. It starts at 7pm but teams must register at The Cutter pub opposite the boating lake by midday.

Thursday welcomes the Children’s Fancy Dress Competition, and the High Street Traders Annual Street Party.

The big event on Saturday, August 4, is the Grand Carnival Procession, followed by fireworks at dusk. The parade lines up ini Rock-a-Nore Road at 4.30pm for a 5pm start. The deadline for registration is 2.45pm and entry forms are available from Bourne Florists, Hastings Information Centre, and Old Town Hall Museum, or online at www.1066.net/carnival.

Rock-a-Nore car park will be closed to the public on carnival day -use Pelham Place or town centre car parks.

Hastings Old Town Carnival Week programmes are available from shops and pubs in the Old Town, Hastings History House, at 21 Courthouse Street, Hastings Information Centres and the Observer office.

Full details can also be found online at www.oldtowncarnivalweek.co.uk and www.1066.net/carnival.