Here you can check out some of the fantastic events we’ve organised in the past – we’re always on the look out for feedback, fresh ideas and ways to improve so if any of the below events inspire you to organise a brand new Folkestone Festival, be sure to let us know via the Contact Us page.
BUCKINGHAM PICNIC FOR THE REIGN
2016: SATURDAY 11th JUNE – THE LEAS BANDSTAND – 10.30 – 17.30
Head for the Leas to the Bandstand to celebrate the Queen’s 90th birthday!
Sponsored by Buckingham Covers of Folkestone this free, family friendly event will be full of music, fun, singing and dancing by the Bandstand, which was built in 1895, with its tent shaped canopy, supported by cast iron columns decorated with honeysuckle motif based on ancient art forms – a truly beautiful venue for this special occasion.
There will be a variety of music through the ages kicking off with the Apache Showband to get us in the mood of the Fifties (when Her majesty acceded to the throne) and the Sixties followed by the UK Paper Band will play a range of music in the mid afternoon session.
Although deck chairs will be provided, bring your own chairs and picnic to enjoy a really fun day of relaxing entertainment for your family and children, with Punch & Judy shows, story-telling, bouncy castles and outdoor games.
Throughout the day Children’s Party Mascots will roam the area and there will be a fancy dress competition for the best dressed costumes of the era (1926 to the present day). Let your imagination run wild – famous characters and personalities of the UK (from music, film, armed forces, politics, health, engineers etc.).
Food, ice cream and drink stalls will be nearby as well as additional toilets and security to cope with the large numbers expected. The Leas Cliff Hall and other toilet facilities are nearby, as well as the Clifton Hotel, Skuba Bar, La Tavernetta and the Southcliffe Hotel for further sustenance.
The road by the bandstand will be closed to make it safe for children. The Sandgate Road Car Park is nearby where parking is £1 for four hours, £2 for five hours or £3 all day.
While waiting do take time to visit the Folkestone Cliff Lift, a water balanced funicular first opened in 1885 and remarkably remains substantially intact and is now run by a volunteer team of enthusiasts. Or dawdle down the zig-zag path to the beautiful Coastal Park with children’s play equipment – all free! All performances are subject to change and a full programme will be released in the near future.
CHILDREN’S PARTY MASCOTS FANCY DRESS PICNIC
2016 SATURDAY 13TH – SUNDAY 14TH AUGUST – THE LEAS BANDSTAND
This was FFs’ penultimate event and the sun shone throughout. Visitors, especially the young, were enthralled by the variety of wonderful entertainment on offer. Phase 5 Steel Band started the event. The Folkestone Town Mayor Cllr. Martin Salmon welcomed everyone. He and the Mayoress proceeded to Tom Kellett’s Circus Day Workshop and learned to tackle the diablo with some dexterity and then they enjoyed the Metamorphosis Belly Dancers, some sustenance and a ride in the Land Train.
A new mildly humorous and charming walkabout performance from OCTO-POT a larger than life seafood surprise – a giant and grumpy octopus puppet emerging from the smoking cooking pot – and led by a quirky chef and his red and white checked serving trolley. Cllr. Jan Holben the Chairman of Shepway District Council was squirted by the octopus and then joined the steel band, performing a masterpiece with great skill and talent. She was welcomed as part of the team, making it Phase 5.5 steel band! She in turn thanked everyone for coming and the performers for their lovely music and being such good sports.
The newly opened Cliffe Bar and Restaurant very kindly allowed the dancers to change in their refurbished premises. The Fancy Dress Competition was held too late in the day so numbers were disappointing and was judged by the Princesses, Folkestone Festivals volunteers and Cllrs. Frank McKenna and Mary Laws.
The Hawkinge Flyers laid on an outstanding performance once again and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Peppa Pig, Woody, Doc Mcstuffin and Minion made regular appearances to the great surprise of the young and not so young. Throughout the days the Land Train ran from Bouverie Place Shopping Centre to the Bandstand, and the bouncy castle and children’s amusements were much in use and the Punch & Judy Show and Story-Telling very popular. Thanks to Scoff & Sip Ice Cream, Khay’s Kitchen and the lively ladies of Streetz2Streetz visitors were provided with excellent food, ice cream and drinks on this very hot day.
On Sunday armed with a picnic huge crowds came to watch the amazing Giant Balloon Show and waited for the feverous balloon sculptures, high energy comic performance and the all-important giant balloon! They listened to the brilliant Animated Story Time and Sing a Long with the Princesses, then to the Northern Men Pipe Band from Northern France, to Kent Young Singer Emily Hodges, to Trundlehonk the one man bandstand and the UK Paper Band with their programme of music including RAF March Past, Any Dream Will Do, Snow White, Cruella de Vil, Liberty Bell, Beauty and the Beast, Can’t Help Falling in Love, The Lion King, Nine to Five, James Bond Theme, Standard of St, George and the National Anthem.
The Prince, Geordie and the Dragon puppets story-telling were much enjoyed especially the hidden treasure from Smoulder the Dragon. Elsa, Anna and Belle judged the fancy dress competition and Marshall of Paws Patrol kept a beady eye on proceedings with Minnie and Mickey. The Fancy Dress Competition was held earlier and the numbers present made it all worth-while.
Quite simply it was a brilliantly bonkers and amazing weekend with the ADP Tour container also on site for all to see the artistic creation by Jimmy Cauty. Filled with fun and dancing demonstrations it was an event for all the family, with plenty to see and do. On both days, people sat and lazed on the grass, or relaxed in a camping chairs or deckchairs, while tucking into their picnic. Being out of the town, the Festival can now really be enjoyed because there is more room and space.
A huge thank you Emma of Party Mascots Folkestone in Guildhall Street for providing all the characters. The Land Train sponsored by the Folkestone, Hythe & District Hotel & Catering Association and Wilmoths was a huge success once again over the two days.
FOLKESTONE MERMAID FESTIVAL
2015: 8th AUGUST 2015
2014: SATURDAY 19th – SUNDAY 20th JULY
Following the success of the first Mermaid festival last year, came a fun packed 2 day event held on the glorious Folkestone Sea front. Celebrating all things Mythical and Magical about the Sea, including live local music, trade village, magical parade and much much more. Leading up to the event were workshops, Sea Babies, treasure hunts, costume designing and exhibitions.
Once again the Mermaid Parade highlighted the day joining Merfolk, Pirates and Sea Babies in celebration lead by the Djembe Drummers from 12 noon on the Saturday starting at The Royal George.
Local music and performances on both days at the Live Main Stage, including brand new acts, the wonderful Katie Wintie, Lucky Jackson and Katie Bradley Headlining on Saturday evening.
With plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy from donkey rides to Punch & Judy, sandcastle building to fair rides, the festival also hosted a gathering of retail traders with perfect souvenirs and gifts.
Visiting Mermaids sheltered in their grottos telling stories and singing songs and celebrate the sea, alongside important awareness of or marine and coastal conservation.
Grottos were generously sponsored by, The Lavender Tea House, Call Dan Removals & Gems Hair & Beauty, with decorations made by Stella Maris Primary School: Class 4, Mundella Primary School years 1,2 5 &6 & St Eanswythe Primary School Art Club.
British Mermaid – Lily Rose, joined the Folkestone Mermaids for the parade and in the Grottos and performed on stage at 3pm on the 19th (www.abritishmermaid.co.uk)
Mermaid Duo – Merlesque also joined us for the parade and on the shoreline for meet and greet sessions on the 19th July as well as performing at 7pm on the main stage. (www.realmermaids.co.uk) A video of their wonderful performance is COMING SOON.
Meet a Mermaid’s Toni Mishell, and her trusted companion, Captain Redbeard also come all the way to Folkestone Mermaid Festival. They brought to life the legend of this mythical creature with craft and mermaid mythology workshops, joined the parade and were also be available for autograph signings and photos on Saturday and Sunday.
You all joined in the free workshops Saturday morning to make noise makers and parade accessories, have your faces painted and join the fancy dress competition.
The Fancy Dress Competition Judged by Folkestone Mayor Cllr Alan North and Claire Short chose the Winners – Under 10’s Avalon, 11- 17 Chloe and 18+ Jody Wood.
We have been working very hard since October to produce the Folkestone Mermaid Calendar, now complete and available to purchase via paypal on the link below.
Also available at Cauldron of Inspiration on The Old High Street and County Fayre on Rendezvous Street, Folkestone. The Folkestone Festival Events throughout the Summer and of course at The Mermaid Festival.
Sea Babies Top Ten. Winner Matilda aged 15 Months was announced Saturday 19th July at 3.45pm on the Main Stage. Judges Georgina Baker, Honei Jackson and Cath Mison were there on the day to meet the winners who received a Canvas Print donated by Nik and Trick Photography Services of The Old High Street.
1st JULY – 31st JULY
Mermaid Art Exhibition at The Mariners. Showcase of artworks by locals of a mythological Sea Theme – Art Works are still available to purchase contact firstname.lastname@example.org for contact information.
2015 THE BIG GREEN DAY
The Big Green Day will be a day event that will promote awareness of environmentally friendly causes, showcasing local businesses and groups with the best eco-friendly products and advice to sustain a greener lifestyle.We wish to have an array of businesses promoting eco-friendly, fair trade products and produce. Local and national companies will also provide information on sustainable living i.e. solar panels, re-cycling, hybrid cars, gardening and outdoor activities.
The aim is to encourage a family friendly event with local community involvement to promote Folkestone, bring trade into the town, increase footfall for all business and offer a vast range of eco-friendly information and knowledge.
2014 SHEPWAY TALENT SHOWCASE
The Shepway Talent Showcase was a series of concerts featuring the musical and performing arts talent in Shepway. There was a weekly concert at the United Reformed Church in Folkestone, where each concert had a minimum of four acts performing. These ranged from choirs, bands, orchestras, groups and soloists. This gave opportunity to any local talent to be heard doing what they love.
2014 BEACH HUT POETRY READINGS – 31st MAY 2014
Anyone passing by Beach Hut Number One, Folkestone between 11am and 3pm on Saturday 31st May 2014 was treated to poetry readings by acclaimed writer George Szirtes.
George Szirtes is a poet and translator who has published some 40 books and has won major prizes for both his own books and those he translated. Reel (2004) won the T S Eliot Prize and both his collections since then, most recently Bad Machine (2013), have been on the Eliot shortlist. He has also written for children and on visual art.
He was joined by local poet Leah Thorn who is an artist/activist. She frequently performs in collaboration with dancers and musicians and her work is published through performance, film, anthologies and magazines in England and the United States.
The Beach Hut Readings is being organised by local writer Helen Thomson. Helen has recently published her first novel ‘Stolen Destinies’. As well as novels she writes short stories and local interest books.
Joining George and Leah were other local poets and readers included Folkestone Festival Committee member Cath Mison with ‘The Lonely Beach Hut’
2012 Folkestone Festival Gallery
2010 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery
2009 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery
2007 Folkestone Multicultural Festival Gallery