It’s the fifth annual St Annes Kite Festival this weekend - and it’s going to be the biggest and best yet as the town revels in an extravaganza of entertainment and fun.
For the first time, the Kite Festival has an international flavour, as the Kuwait national team brings the world’s largest kite to town.
Fliers from the USA and Singapore will be joining them - and organisers claim that has also helped increase the number of UK fliers attending, winging in from as far afield as Scotland and the south coast to see the spectacle.
The free event runs from 11am to 5pm both days and because of the increasing number of fliers this year, there will be two flying arenas – either side of the pier.
The event will also include live music, with five bands from BBC Introducing on the Saturday, while St Annes Music shop has organised original acts for the Sunday.
The entertainment on Sunday will also include the colourful and flamboyant dancers Viva Brasil from Liverpool who will lead the two samba bands at 12 from the car park along the Promenade past the Lifeboat House open day and down onto the beach.
Local primary schools have also been making headdresses and instruments to join in the parade.
Organiser Pat May said: “We had hoped to make it an international event one day - none of us can believe how quickly it has happened.
“St Annes truly is now being recognised as one of the best beaches in the world and it is a tribute to the reputation of the event and our beach that the Kuwaiti team have paid up to £30,000 of their own money to fly and transport their kites here.”
The full musical line-up on the stage to the side of the pier is:
Saturday: BBC Introducing presents – Pisces, Charlotte Cannon, Katie Dean, Tirikilatops, Jekyll. Sunday: St Annes Music presents – Morgan Marshall, Chris Clancy, Phoebe Green, Second City, Beth Thomas, Michael Shepherd, Joni Fuller.
Meanwhile, a feast of musical delights in Ashton Gardens will add to the weekend’s delights.
While the Kite Festival takes place on the beach on both days, the Gardens will be reverberating to a vast of array of bands and solo performers as an exciting new feature of the town’s Music and Arts Festival.
The Ashton Gardens entertainment runs from 1pm into the evening on Saturday and Sunday as well as from 5pm tomorrow.
The full musical itinerary in Ashton Gardens is:
Friday – 5pm: Marsel and Friends; 6pm: Skyeladder; 7pm: Robusta; 8pm: Blaney. Saturday – 1pm: Ember; 1.30pm: Solomon Couch; 2pm: Pink Hearse; 3pm: Tom Vernon and Friends; 4pm: Black Cadillac; 5pm: Sofa Kings; 6pm: Mardigras Bombers; 7pm: Happy Daze; 8pm: Cornelius Crane. Sunday – 1pm: Mr Mel; 1.30pm: Partisan; 2pm: April Moon; 3pm: Sian and Dave; 3.30pm: Familiar Ghost; 4.30pm: Mike Cummings; 5pm: Steve Canavan; 6pm: Tony Benedict and Friends; 7pm: The Coustics.
Meanwhile, musical perfiormances will take place through the weekend at a variety of venues, such as the Ashton Gardens Pavilion Cafe, Silantro, the Vanilla Artisan Bakery, Toast, Olive Tree, Jack’s, Number Fifth, The
Bistro and Shilaylee Irish Bar.
As far as the arts side of the Festival is concerned, Mooch 1 on Garden Street will become a ‘creative hub’, hosting a range of free workshops, demonstrations and artwork for sale.
Caricature artist Chris Knapman will be there from today until Sunday drawing caricatures and will also hold a caricature workshop on Sunday from 11am to 1pm.
Portrait artist Laura Amy Thompson will be painting live today from 11am to 3pm, while photographer Simon Ray will be hosting a photography mounting workshop tomorrow from 1pm to 3pm showing how to give pictures a sleek and professional look. Simon will also be taking a short guided photographic tour around St Annes on Saturday at noon and 2pm, starting at Mooch 1 and finishing at the beach huts on the seafront.
Kate Eggleston-Wirtz will be leading a drop-in family workshop making jester hats and jester sticks on Saturday from 1pm to 3pm and will also be showing samples of her tactile multi-media art.
The RNLI’s annual Family Fun Day at the St Annes lifeboat house on Sunday has been switched to this weekend to coinicide with the Kite Festival.
Visitors galore are expected at the event, which runs from 11am to 4pm and will include a half-scale model of the Shannon Class Lifeboat which is intended to come to St Annes in 2018.
An appeal to raise £275,000 to ‘top up’ the £2.2m cost of the new lifeboat - which is beuing funded largely through a legacy by a long-time supporter - will be officially launched to the public at the open day, while the event will also include a host of staff, games and refreshments.
Live entertainment, tours of the current lifeboat Her Majesty The Queen and viewing of the inshore lifeboat Sally will also be features of the day, while vintage buses will link the Lytham lifeboat house with the St Annes venue on South Promenade.