Sidmouth Sea Fest 2019: How event is celebrating diversity creatively

Seafood cooking demostration at the Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3086. Picture: Terry Ife

Seafood cooking demostration at the Sidmouth Sea Fest. Ref shs 20 18TI 3086. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Celebrating the coastline through food, music and drama is set to draw in the crowds when Sea Fest returns to Sidmouth next weekend.

The free community event will once again cover The Ham in a sea of colour to match its theme of 'celebrating diversity creatively'.

For the first time in its six-year history the event will run until late, from 10am to 11pm.

Louise Cole, director of Sidmouth Coastal Community Hub, said: "Something has shifted this year, we have had some fantastic offers to be part of the Sea Fest programme. People are coming to us now that we are established and the relaxed friendly community vibe of Sea Fest is appreciated by everyone who comes along and takes part. Our Diversity theme in our coastal setting has struck a chord."

Sidmouth Sailing Club is encouraging visitors to push the boat out with a series of testers on the water, which is running from 2.30pm to 6.30pm.

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A community play called A Fish out of Water will be shown to mark 100 years since the death of Stephen Reynolds.

Sidmouth schools have been very involved with the festival working with artistic director Coco Hodgkinson to create masks for the rainbow fish parade.

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She said: "Once again Sidmouth school children have risen to the challenge of getting creative with our Diversity theme and making their masks, they like the fact that they are a part of Sea Fest and get really enthusiastic, it connects them in a fun way to a place they feel a sense of belonging to."

The fish will leave the market square at 5pm, led out by Street Heat samba band.

Performing throughout the day will be the Sidmouth Coastal Community Choir, Sidmouth Primary School Choir, the Chantry Buoys, The Cormorants, The Tourists, Samantics and DJ Tata.

The event has received much sponsorship locally, including support from South West Water, who will run a Love Your Loo stall, helping to raise awareness following the discovery of a 64-metre fatberg in the town.

Book lovers can also attend talks throughout the day with events organised by Winstone's book shop.

Tom Nancollas will be signing his book from 11am, at the sailing club. Authors Lucy Wood and Ben Smith will be 'in conversation' at The Cornish Bakery at 6.30pm.

All events are free but call Winstone's on 01395 579969 to reserve a space.

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