Two weekends of family friendly events and activities have been planned in Plymouth as part of the inaugural Marine City Festival.
Taking place between Saturday 8 and Sunday 16 September, the festival will combine science and sport with food and entertainment to celebrate all things marine.
With an action-packed programme of events on both the opening and closing weekends there’ll be plenty to keep the kids busy, as well as lots of activities that can be enjoyed by all the family.
The festival, organised by Destination Plymouth, kicks off on Saturday 8 with the Marine City Festival Parade; a rich and vibrant celebration of the city’s relationship with the sea, involving hundreds of local school children in elaborate carnival costumes.
Led by two lively samba bands, the parade will begin on the Barbican at 1pm, wind its way along the streets to the Hoe before returning along the same route. Children from Yealmpstone Farm and Stuart Road Primary will be at the front of the parade dressed in Carnival Costumes created by them and theatre company Stiltskin. Other children wishing to take part will have the opportunity to attend a costume workshop at the Barbican Theatre to get ready in the morning.
As the parade takes place on land, participants in the Ecover Blue Mile will follow the same route by water, swimming, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding for a mile to raise money for the WWF’s river and sea conservation projects. Places are still available for all three individual events, as well as the aqua triathlon for anyone who wants to really give themselves a challenge.
On Sunday 9, families are invited to Shipwrecks and Sea Shanties at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park. Children can enjoy swashbuckling tales of high sea adventure and real pirate booty, while for parents there will be expert talks on the wrecks in Plymouth Sound and the artefacts discovered. Traditional sea shanty singers will be providing a musical backdrop, with cream teas and cake included in the ticket price.
The following weekend will see cool marine science and tasty seafood come together for the Plymouth Seafood Festival and STEMFest Family Weekend on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 in the Barbican and across the lock in the Aquarium Plaza.
The National Marine Aquarium will be taking marine science out onto the streets with interactive challenges and experiments. The fun and engaging Science and Technology Showcase run by the University will educate and entertain families with lots of cutting edge technology, simulators and weird and wonderful inventions.
Families will have the chance to discover how the aquarium works and what creatures can be found right outside its doors off the coast of Plymouth. From the tiniest plankton to gigantic basking sharks, visitors will find out how everything in the ocean is connected, and the activity will link in with the Seafood Festival by showing how seafood gets from sea to plate.
Duncan Currall, Chairman of Destination Plymouth said: “The Marine City Festival aims to offer something for everyone and the activities we’ve got lined up for children and families will really bring the marine world to life. Along with the science, business and arts and entertainment programme, the events for families will attract more visitors to Plymouth and firmly establish our position as a leading Marine City.”
David Gibson, Chief Executive of the National Marine Aquarium added; “The Marine City Festival is the perfect opportunity to really inspire kids to get excited by the marine environment around them. I am really pleased that along with the University we are able to deliver so much wonderful activity.”
The Plymouth Marine City Festival runs from Saturday 8 to Sunday 16 September, and also includes a business expo, marine science conference and outdoor cinema programme. For the full line up of events, please visit www.marinecityfestival.com or follow @marinefestival on Twitter.