LARGE crowds are expected at Rye’s Strand Quay on Sunday for the annual Maritime Festival.
It is a great come-back for the popular event, which was only saved by a public spirited effort following a funding shortfall.
The quayside will be packed with boats dressed in all their finery to celebrate Rye’s long-standing nautical heritage.
A packed line-up of entertainment includes live music by 1066 Rockitmen and other local bands. The Creole Jazz band will also be playing as well as the Sea Shanty singers from Hastings.
There will be displays of historical divers, owls and a beer tent, a barbecue by Rye Butchers and locally caught fish for sale.
There will be stands from the RNLI, Maritime and Coast Guard Agency.
Rye. Winchelsea and District Memorial Hospital will be selling raffle tickets to win a Citroen car.
Moored at Strand Quay will be a rare vintage World War II Fairmile motor launch, once used in commando raids.
The event is organised by the Rye Harbour Boat Owners Association, The Rye Harbour Sailing Club and is supported by 1066 Country Marketing, Rye and District Hotels and Caterers Association. Rye and District Chamber of Commerce. Rastrum Ltd, Atlas Business Park and other local businesses.
Organiser Charles Bronsdon said: “The Festival started from a very small event and has grown with a lot of hard work over the years to become one of the town’s major summer attractions. There is lots to do and see.
John Smith, chairman of the Rye and District Hotels and Caterers Association, said: “As an association it is our pleasure to help support the Maritime Festival, it is one of the truly relevant Festivals for Rye highlighting the rich nautical heritage of this famous Cinque Port.
“Due to the hard work of the organisers the Festival has gone from strength to strength and is a great day out for not only much needed visitors but also, and possibly more importantly, local folk as well.”
George Bailey, chairman of 1066 Country Marketing Partnership, said: “The festival should really help the local visitor economy, benefitting shops, restaurants, accommodation providers and other attractions in and around Rye.”