Hastings and St Leonards are about to set sail for this year’s Pirate Day festivities this Sunday (July 16).
With tens of thousands of pirates, seadogs and buccaneers expected to descend on 1066 Country, the annual event is sure to be bigger and better than ever.
Roger Crouch, the man behind Pirate Day, said: “We are looking forward to a wonderful day on Sunday.
“My sincere thanks to Anton Burton-Windsor for his huge help and of course to Nikki Parker, who has been with me since the inaugural Pirate Day in 2009.
“This will be the biggest Pirate Day that has ever happened, stretching from the Old Town to Warrior Square.
“Many thanks also to all of the performers and supporters who have made this possible, as well as Hastings Voluntary Lifeguards. We wish everybody a wonderful and safe day.”
The highlight this year is the display of The Tigers free fall parachute display team at 1pm landing on Hastings Pier.
The Tigers were formed more than 20 years ago and the team has performed at events such as the British National Parachute Championships and the World Parachute Championships. The Princess of Wales Regiment is being sponsored by Love Hastings, which manages the Hastings Business Improvement District (BID).
Colin Dormer, chairman of the BID, said: “Hastings BID is delighted to be the main sponsor of the 2017 Pirate Day event which will draw thousands of families to our town centre. The BID works hard to ensure the town centre is safe, attractive, clean, vibrant and a better place for all to enjoy. We hope visitors and businesses have a fantastic day.”
In the centre visitors can pick up programmes and pirate costumes for the day, as well as enjoy live music, Punch and Judy shows, pirate entertainment and the Pan Up Steel band.
Priory Meadow Shopping Centre will also be hosting family friendly activities between 11am and 4pm.
In the Old Town, there will be live music on the Stade Open Space including the Cannibal Drummers and a themed market. Butlers Gap in George Street will become Mermaid Cove.
Warrior Square in St Leonards will feature an array of family entertainment, where visitors can search for the captain’s buried treasure and win a cash prize, explore the sand dune play sand, sample the huge selection of exotic foods from around the globe, and dance and sing along to their favourite shanties from the crow’s nest stage.
On the pier, ticket holders for the VIP Deck will get the chance to meet the Tigers skydivers and ‘Cap’n Jack Sparrow’, as well as enjoy a glass of prosecco, canapes and the best view in the house.
Tickets cost £20 per adult and £7 per child (plus 10 per cent booking fee) and are limited to 100 people. Visit www.hastingspier.org.uk.
Brave explorers can also venture inside Circo Rum Ba Ba’s 50ft inflatable whale for The Pirate’s Misadventure storytelling show on the pier, featuring a shipwrecked pirate with a treasure tale to tell and a real live mermaid with a haunting siren’s song and an intriguing secret. Tickets cost £5 (plus 10 per cent booking fee). The pier is also inviting people to help build the biggest skull and crossbones flag by bringing along their piece of flag to be attached to a unique piece, specially created by street artist, Drew Copus.
The flag will be assembled and be on Pelham beach at 2pm ready for processions leaving from The Stade and pier.
There will also be a host of free entertainment on the pier, including interactive family fun with Emporium Parties, Punch & Judy shows, a drop-in Pirate Circus Skills workshop, live music from Smoking Jacket and Captain’s Beard, tap dancing from Katie Lewis, Celebration Samba drumming, and a Stunt Action Swashbuckling show from ‘Cap’n Jack Sparrow’.
A schedule of timings for the day’s events can be found at www.hastingspier.org.uk.
Jo Stewart, CEO of Hastings Pier Charity, said: “We are so excited to be bringing lots of family fun to Hastings Pier for Pirate Day. To be involved in such a loved event in the town is a real honour, and working with Roger Crouch has been, as always, an absolute pleasure. The skydiving is set to be spectacular, and I look forward to cheering the skydivers on as they descend from the skies.”
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