Choir rehearsal kick-starts preparations for this year’s Sidmouth Sea Fest

PUBLISHED: 17:00 26 January 2019

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3128. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3128. Picture: Terry Ife

Archant

Anyone wanting to join the Sea Fest Community Choir can come to a first rehearsal in February, as preparations start for the festival in May

Dave French making a tradional East Devon willow crab pot at the Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3100. Picture: Terry IfeDave French making a tradional East Devon willow crab pot at the Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3100. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth’s sixth annual Sea Fest – ‘a celebration of everything in, on or by the sea’ – takes place on Saturday, May 18 this year.

It is a free coastal community one-day event at The Ham, for people of all ages to come together and celebrate all things maritime. It also contributes to Sidmouth’s aim to become single-use plastic free.

This year there will also be a special focus is on the history of Sidmouth resident Stephen Reynolds, who died 100 years ago. He was an author, fisherman and social commentator. A plaque in his memory was unveiled at Sidmouth Museum in December, but his extraordinary life and connection with Sidmouth are not generally well known, and the festival organisers want to change that.

Louise Cole from Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub said: “We will be bringing to life and sharing his story, which is one of breaking down class and social barriers, supporting the fishing community of Sidmouth, and a personal one at a time of intolerance and discrimination based on sexual orientation.”

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3136. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3136. Picture: Terry Ife

Sea Fest always features local musicians, artists, schools and community members. There will be sea shanties, live bands, cooking demonstrations, environmental awareness, art workshops, community play, games, dancing, authors, and even a sea-themed Cake Off competition. The theme of this year’s event is Celebrating Diversity Creatively.

The Sidmouth Sea Fest Community Choir will be performing, and anyone wishing to join the choir this year is welcome to come along to a first rehearsal on Saturday, February 23 at Sidmouth College, from 10am till 12 noon.

The Coastal Community Hub are delighted that this year, the festival has been chosen to benefit from the Co-op Local Community Fund.

Louise said: “At a time when funds for charitable organisations are becoming more difficult to access, we’re incredibly grateful for this opportunity to make a real difference in Sidmouth and the Sid Valley.

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3112. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3112. Picture: Terry Ife

“To help us raise vital funds, we’ll be relying on Co-op shoppers. Every time they buy Co-op own-brand products they get a 5% reward for themselves, and a further 1% goes to local causes like ours. Co-op members can decide which local group they would like to back by going online www.coop.co.uk/membership.

“We really hope that people will visit the website and choose to support us.”

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3114. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3114. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3136. Picture: Terry IfeSidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3136. Picture: Terry Ife

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