All the biggest events coming to Hastings, Battle, Bexhill and Rye in 2020

Hastings Fat Tuesday. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-190403-093509001
Hastings Fat Tuesday. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-190403-093509001

The new year has arrived and, as always, 1066 country will be packed with things to do, see and watch over the next 12 months. Read on to find out what 2020 has to offer.

Events in January

Mayday Run 2018. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-180705-205715001

Mayday Run 2018. Photo by Frank Copper SUS-180705-205715001

Holocaust Memorial Day- . The day, which gives people of all ages the chance to reflect on the horrors of the holocaust, will start at 10.30am on January 25, at St Mary in the Castle. This year’s theme is “stand together” and will include performances from the Acromax performance group, the St Richard’s College Catholic College choir and dancers and more. To find out more about Holocaust Memorial Day, read our article on its announcement.

Events in February

Hastings Fat Tuesday- The biggest mardi gras in the UK will be showcasing Hastings’ vibrant music scene from February 21-25 at a variety of venues across town. Singer-Songwriter Baxter Dury will headline the four day event which, alongside plenty of music, will also include parties, dress-up tours, artistic exhibitions and the always-popular Umbrella Parade. For more information about acts, venues, dates and tickets, click here.

Rye Scallop week- Scallops will be back on the menu come February as Rye celebrates its seasonal delight with the Rye Scallop week festival. Starting on February 22 and ending on March 1, the week is the perfect chance to sample the seaside delicacy. Alongside scallop-themed specials in a variety of restaurants across the town, there will also be demonstrations, tasting events, cookery schools, live music and more. To find out more about Scallop week, visit their website.

Scallop cookery course at Webbe's at the Fish Cafe, Rye. 28/2/12'Part of Rye Scallop Week.'Paul Webbe. ENGSUS00120120228145646

Scallop cookery course at Webbe's at the Fish Cafe, Rye. 28/2/12'Part of Rye Scallop Week.'Paul Webbe. ENGSUS00120120228145646

Events in March

The Hastings Half Run- a 13.1 mile route through the town and seafront, this challenging run attracts athletes from all over the country. The Marathon starts and finishes on the seafront on March 29. Click here to sign up and find out more about the route.

Events in April

Hastings Beatles Day- Celebrate one of the best bands in history with a day of live music and tribute acts on April 5 from 12pm to 10.30 pm at the White Rock Theatre. If you and your band can play a convincing Hey Jude, or if you fancy dusting off your Yellow Submarine and listening to the music, click here to register a band or buy tickets.

Events in May

Jack in The Green- though this traditional festival usually takes place on the Mayday Bank Holiday (Monday 4 May), things have changed this year thanks to VE day celebrations the following friday. Jack in the Green will still take place over what would be mayday weekend, however (May 1-3), but the procession which would usually be on Bank Holiday Monday has been moved forward to May 3. Visitors can expect a lively weekend of include morris dancing, live music and plenty of bizarre dress-up, as well as the always-spectacular Jack in the Green Parade, which will see the procession releasing the spirit of Summer with a ritualistic slaying of the Jack. To find out more and keep an eye on the event, click here.

The VE Day run- usually called the Mayday run, this free-to-attend biker rally has dubbed itself the VE day run in order to reflect the shift in the mayday bank holiday date from May 4 to May 8. The change in date aside, expect the traditional ride from Locksbottom to Hastings to go on as usual. More details are to be announced later in the year. Visit the Mayday run website to find out more and register.

Events in June

Hastings Fringe Comedy Festival 2020- venues all over Hastings will play host to up-and-coming comics from across the country later this year. Now in its fifth year, the festival starts on June 10 and finishes on June 14. To find out more, nab some early tickets or even register as an act, visit their website.

1066 Cycling Festival- This cycling festival promises to bring all things bike to Bexhill and Hastings in June. On June 20, the festival will stop off in Hastings, between the pier and source park. The day after, on June 21, it will come to the Metropole Lawns by the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill. To find out more, click here.

Events in July

Hastings Beer and Music Festival- A great way to kickstart the month of July, this festival is a winning showcase for all the best booze and music in 1066 country. Opening at The Oval on July 1 and finishing on July 6, all proceeds from the event go to nearby charities. To book tickets and find out more, visit the Hastings Beer and Music festival website.

St Leonards festival- two straight days of street arts, festival markets, bands, music, performance and parades from July 10 to July 11. To find out more about the festival, visit their website.

Bexhill Carnival- one of the longest running and most popular events in town, the Bexhill carnival features everything from dog shows, football games and live performances to a fully fledged procession through the town centre. No dates have been confirmed for this year’s carnival yet, but last year’s took place between July 20 and July 27. To keep tabs on this year’s event, visit the Bexhill Carnival website.

Old Town Carnival week- starting on July 31 and going on until August 8, the Old Town Carnival Week is an excellent chance to celebrate 1066 country’s heritage and history. Pram races, treasure trails, street parties and historical talks all culminate in a Grand Carnival Procession in one of the biggest events of the year. To find out more about the programme, click here.

Events in August

Hastings Reggae Festival- August in Hastings kicks off with the Hastings Reggae Festival on August 1, which features Reggae artists from all over the world, food, drink and fairground rides. To buy tickets and keep tabs on the line-up, click here.

Rural Past Times festival- this Sedlescombe based country show aims to give guests a glimpse into the details of rural life- from farming to handicrafts- in centuries past. Money from the show, which takes place on from August 8 to August 9, goes to a variety of local charities. To find out more about the event, visit their website.

Rye District and County Show- A yearly outdoor event featuring everything from a traditional horse and dog show, classic cars, children’s games, craft stalls and food tents, the Rye District and County show is the perfect family day out. This year’s dates are still to be confirmed, but last year’s event took place on August 17 at Elm Tree Farm in Icklesham. To get a taste for what the festival is like and to see all our photos from last year’s event, click here.

Hastings Pride- This year’s pride celebrations are scheduled to start on August 30 and end the next day on August 31. Last years event celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in New York, and brought the Hastings LGBTQ+ community together for a colourful parade which set off from the South Terrace and travelled along the sea front. Details are pending for this summer’s parade, but will be available on the Hastings Pride website.

Events in September

Bexhill festival of the sea- Taking place from September 4 to September 6, this free weekend festival is set to celebrate all things Bexhill, an illuminated parade, performers, mermaid swimming sessions and, as always, an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of mermaids ever assembled in one place. The festival also hopes to educate attendants about the environment, with a focus on clean seas and wildlife conservation. To find out more and keep abreast of all the latest developments, visit the Bexhill festival of the sea website.

Rye festival of the sea- Coming to Rye on September 6 this year’s festival will mark the treturn of a variety of community favourites. Alongside stalls selling a variety of locally crafted goods, there will also be a Raft race and the festival’s annual tug of war. To find out more about the Rye festival of the sea and to keep up with it as it develops, click here.

Hastings Seafood and Wine festival- Taking place over the weekend of September 19, this festival gives attendants the chance to sample seafood and wine from the south coast and beyond. Though celebrations are usually centred around The Stade and Rock A Nore Road, businesses all over town get involved with special offers and unique, seafood-centric menus.

The Hastings Steampunk festival- Steampunk curiosities will take Hastings by storm on September 19, as the yearly festival returns with a new theme- The Alice in Wonderland inspired Flight of the Jabberwocky. With workshops, exhibitors and more, the steampunk festival will transform Hastings Pier from 11am to 6pm.

Events in October

Hastings Bonfire 2020- With a spooky torchlit procession, fireworks and the customary bonfire, this year’s bonfire celebrations fall on October 10. Though the nature of the effigy is, traditionally, kept secret until the celebration itself, last year’s featured a giant effigy of Guy Fawkes himself, so who knows what lies in wait for spectators at the end of the year.

Hastings Week- Though no dates have been confirmed for 2020’s celebrations just yet, Hastings Week,a week of celebrations commemorating the anniversary of the historic Battle of Hastings on October 14, is always a staple of the yearly calender. Lasyt year’s event featured a poetry competition, a medieval banquet, a car show on the stade, a variety of history talks and live Jazz. To keep tabs on Hastings Week, visit their website.

Battle of Hastings re-enactment- Every bit as integral as Hastings Week, this yearly recreation of the pivotal medieval battle takes place every year at the historic Battle Abbey. 2020’s dates are yet to be confirmed.

Events in November

Battle Bonfire- Bonfire celebrations will move from Hastings to Battle on November 7, with a procession which brings together Bonfire organisations from across Sussex.

Rye Bonfire- One of the last celebrations before bonfire season comes to an end, Rye will take up their drums and ready their effigies on November 14.

Events in December

Though very few events have been announced this early in the year, the festive season in 1066 is country promises to be as jam-packed as ever, with Christmas light switch ons, markets and more set to make the Christmas season as special as always.