PICTURES: Midsummer Fish Festival opens in Hastings

The Midsummer Fish Festival has opened in Hastings to celebrate seasonal fish, food and drink producers, alongside live music.

The event – which got underway this morning – runs until 6pm before continuing on Sunday (June 24).

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival. Mayor Nigel Sinden and councillor Kim Forward

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival. Mayor Nigel Sinden and councillor Kim Forward

Held on the Stade open space, Saturday’s festival line-up included The Hastings Sinfonia, as well as performances by Steve Didge and new talent, Lucy; a rare special appearance from The Gail Edmunds Band; four piece dance and party band, Octavia; Spanish and salsa rhythms from Los Twangqueros and closing the day is The Martin Blackman Band.

Posting on Facebook, Hastings Borough Council said: “It’s been a lovely day down at the Stade.

“Sushine, smiles, songs and lots of samphire to compliment the wonderful Hastings Fish from our local fishing fleet. And we’re here again tomorrow.

“Tickets just £1 from the Tourist Information Centre or £2 on the gate. See you soon.”

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

Sunday will start with traditional songs from the Sounds Waves Shanty Crew as well as great selection of covers from The Cover Ups. Mad Jacks Morris dancers will perform, followed by some country music from The Hay Stingers, while The Rocking Ambassadors close the weekend’s entertainment with some jumping and jiving.

There will be cooking demonstrations in Classroom on the Coast, the unique seafood training kitchen based within the Stade Hall over both days. CJ Jackson, of the Billingsgate Seafood School was in attendance on Saturday afternoon.

Sunday’s demos will be from Wild Feast and new local St Leonard’s restaurant, Farmyard. All demos are free and can be booked on the day on a first come, first served basis.

Children are also being kept entertained in the Stade Hall with craft activities of a fishy nature, as well as free face painting.

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

The Midsummer Fish Festival was set up to promote Hastings’ Fishing Fleet, so after enjoying the festival, why not take a wander round the net huts, speak to the Fishermen’s Protection Society and get inspired to buy, and cook with, locally caught, seasonal fish.

Wristbands for the whole weekend cost just £1 in advance from the Tourist Information Centre at Breeds Place (on the seafront, by the fountain), or £2 on the gate. Under 18s go free.

Councillor Kim Forward said: “The Midsummer Fish Festival was introduced by Hastings Borough Council after the success of the Seafood and Wine Festival and Herring Fair.

“It’s a celebration of local seasonal fish, food and drink producers, and great live music.

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

Hastings Midsummer Fish Festival

“There will be a great selection of food and drink from local restaurants, street vendors, bakeries, and wine producers. The FILO brewery will be there, as well as other local brewers and wine makers, and there will be delicious gifts to take home. Our local fishing fleet will be showcasing their skills and getting messy with fish printing.”

For more info see: www.visit1066country.com/fishfestivals.