What a month to be in Rye

Rye Raft Race and Fete, The Salts, Rye.'05.08.12.'Pictures by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY
Rye Raft Race and Fete, The Salts, Rye.'05.08.12.'Pictures by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY

THOUSANDS headed to Rye on Sunday to help create the biggest attendance for the Raft Race in its 34 year history.

The spectacular event is set to raise more than £6,500 for charity.

The sun shone as families held picnics on the Salts and watched live music during the afternoon.

Condrad Freezer, from organisers Rye Lions, said: “We usually get around 5,000 people but the numbers were so big this year it was impossible to estimate. It was far more than ever before.”

The barbecue and beer tent both ran out before the end of the afternoon.”

And Sunday’s event is just the beginning of what is looking like one of the busiest summer months for the town in memory.

Next Sunday sees the town celebrate its nautical history with the Rye Maritime Festival on Strand Quay and the Strand.

Boats will be decorated and there will be displays and live music throughout the afternoon.

The following weekend is the launch of the first ever Rye International Jazz Festival with a host of concerts and open air performances taking place in the town and big names such as former Cream drummer Ginger Baker are booked to play.

Following hot on it’s heels is the two week-long Rye Arts Festival.

John Smith, chairman of the Rye Bay Marketing Group, who put on events for the coming jazz festival, said: “There is so much going on. This is a great time to be in Rye.”

See inside for Rye Raft Race pictures and report.