The only way is up for Eastbourne this year as the free International Hot Air Balloon Festival makes its debut as the first and only balloon festival in the south east as part of a jam-packed year of events.
Colourful hot air balloons will be riding high along the south coast this summer with Eastbourne’s first ever balloon festival on 29-30 July. The only balloon festival on the south coast is sure to lift off with Gatwick Airport sponsoring the event.
The free weekend will feature a stunning night glow which will see the balloons illuminate to the beat of the music, static helicopter displays and dawn flights, subject to weather conditions. Eastbourne International Hot Air Balloon Festival will feature plenty to see and do, with miniature steam train rides, classic cars and entertainment. Children can enjoy the soft play areas whilst parents visit the various markets or dance along to live bands.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Eastbourne International Airshow on 17-20 August. Eastbourne’s top event is set to soar higher than ever with aerobatics galore to mark the silver year of the award-winning air show. The free four-day long event features displays of fast jets and historical favourites. Visitors can enjoy the sunshine to a soundtrack of live concerts, a twilight display and a firework finale.
Eastbourne Borough Council Lead Cabinet Member for Tourism and Enterprise, Cllr Margaret Bannister said “2017 is set to be a fantastic year for Eastbourne events! The Hot Air Balloon Festival is sure to be an excellent weekend and we are extremely excited to be working with residents and sponsors on the only balloon festival in the South East.
Join us as we celebrate the anniversary of iconic events such as Eastbourne International Airshow and 999 after years of jam-packed weekends and unbeatable entertainment.”
Also celebrating the 30th anniversary, the 999 Weekend will be offering visitors the chance to have an up-close look at 999 response vehicles and meet the brave members of the emergency services on 8-9 July.
The iconic Aegon International returns to Eastbourne for more world class tennis on 23 June-1 July. Britain’s biggest tennis tournament outside of Wimbledon is set to get even bigger as the Men’s ATP Tour rejoins the WTA Premier event for nine days of tense sporting action. The stunning park setting is just minutes from the beach and is a firm favourite with tennis fans for strawberries and Pimms, picnics and star spotting.
Magnificent Motors, the biggest free vintage motoring spectacular which is sponsored by A-Plan insurance returns to Eastbourne with the iconic Aston Martin DB5, as seen in the 2012 Bond movie, Skyfall. The free family event on 29-30 April is will begin each morning with the Parade of Motors. With vintage markets, children’s rides and live bands providing the soundtrack for the fun weekend, the motoring festival is set to be a roaring success.
For those who enjoy the sound of Magnificent Motors, the London to Eastbourne Jaguar Drive is a must-see for classic car enthusiasts as the Western Lawns showcase classic Jaguars on 14 May all the way from London.
Eastbourne’s Mardi Gras will also be making its debut in Eastbourne this year on 22 July. The free, colourful and vibrant celebration will feature dance, music and a fun-filled parade along the promenade from Fisherman’s Green to Princes Park.
There’s a whole host of sporting events to mark last year’s Olympic success and continue the momentum. A brand new Beach Volleyball court will open this summer plus athletic events such as the newly combined Cycling Festival and Triathlon on 2-4 June and the Beachy Head Marathon which runs through the stunning South Downs National Park on 28 October.
Returning to the Saffrons for the first time since 2000 is the County Cricket. The Sussex 1st XI will take on Gloucestershire in the 50 over a side one day competition on 14 May.
The summer holidays will be kicked off with an adventure filled weekend at Beach Life Festival for the south coast’s coolest, fastest and most intense free sports festival featuring water and outdoor pursuits! The VW Bus Stop will return with a collection of over 150 VW Camper Vans lining Eastbourne’s beautiful seafront.
Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival on 27 May will feature over 1500 walkers set to join the colourful procession from the Western Lawns to Princes Park. The day will be packed with entertainment and live music, with over 25,000 supporters expected to take part!
Eastbourne’s Beer Festivals return to the sunshine coast this year, with events in Spring and Autumn. May Bank Holiday weekend will see the arrival of Beer & Cider by the Sea on the sunny Western Lawns, three days of splendid locally-brewed beers, live bands and an exciting festival vibe suitable for the whole family!
This year marks the 15th anniversary of Eastbourne Beer Festival as it returns to the Winter Garden on 5-7 October for more ale and cider, pub style games and live entertainment!
For literary lovers looking for summer entertainment, EOD will be performing a fabulous production of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” at the beautiful Italian Gardens on 26 July-5 August. The amazing production will provide a tribute to the Bard in the stunning secluded cliff side garden.