The annual Harwich Maritime Festival is set to go ahead in 2019 as Harwich Haven Authority steps in to ensure the town has its much loved annual event

14 January 2019

Harwich Haven Authority are delighted to announce that they will be organising and staging the annual maritime festival on The Quay, Harwich, on Saturday 27 July 2019.

The festival replaces the annual Sea Festival, which was previously organised by the Harwich and Dovercourt Rotary Club and the Harwich RNLI.

The focus of the event will be to reflect both the town’s rich maritime history and its vibrant creative community. The planned festival programme will be both sea and land based – and brings together a wide range of interesting attractions, activities, live music and stalls.

The town’s iconic Ha’penny Pier will be centre stage at the event, which is set to attract thousands of visitors from across Essex and Suffolk. The festival will also incorporate the RNLI’s National Lifeboat day.

“We have taken the decision to pick up the organisation of the Harwich Maritime Festival because it’s such an important part of the Town’s annual calendar,” says Neil Glendinning, Chief Executive, Harwich Haven Authority.

“The Rotary Club has done a wonderful job over the past five years delivering the Sea Festival and we know that everyone in the town is keen that it continues. Obviously, we are also delighted to be working with the Harwich RNLI with whom we have a great relationship.

“We have changed the name of the event to the Harwich Maritime Festival as we felt it better reflected the theme of the town. However, lots of the usual attractions will be included in the programme including the barges, RNLI demonstrations and the sailing races.

“The Maritime Festival is also a great boost for the town’s economy and with a healthy marketing budget in place we hope to attract visitors from far and wide. It’s also a great opportunity to showcase Harwich’s connection to the Mayflower as we approach the 400th anniversary of its sailing to America, which takes place in 2020.”

Harwich RNLI operations manager David Thurston commented: “We are delighted to work with Harwich Haven Authority on the 2019 Maritime Festival. The festival is an opportunity for the Harwich RNLI to engage with the local community, they will be able to meet our dedicated volunteer crew, have a look on board our Lifeboats and enjoy the atmosphere of the day over refreshments in our recently refurbished Lifeboat station.”

Information about the event’s programme can be found on the Harwich Haven Authority’s social media channels @harwichhaven