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Swanage Carnival Week
July 28 - August 4
Swanage hosts one of Dorset’s premier carnivals in July and August with the Swanage Regatta and Carnival week which this year runs from Saturday 28th July to Saturday 4th August.
The week is jam packed full of great entertainment for the very young to the young at heart!
One of the biggest highlights has to be the procession which brings colour, music, dance and entertainment to the thousands of people lining the 2.5 mile route.
There’ll be a variety of performers, bands and clowns entertaining the crowds before the procession weaves it’s way through the town with a variety of floats. Catch the procession on Sunday 29th July from 3.00pm – The theme this year is ‘Safari’!
And you should not miss the magnificent firework displays which take place on Saturday 28th July, Wednesday 1st August and Saturday 4th August.
There are many vantage points to watch the displays including the beach, the seafront, Recreation Ground, Sandpit Field, the Pier, the Downs or near the Old Stone Quay.
Other fun events taking place throughout the week include sandcastle competitions, treasure hunts, dog show, children’s disco, bingo, the Swanage bay swim and Masquerade night, to name but a few!
Up in Sandpit Field there will be a host of activities for all the family to enjoy along with the Carnival Bar and a marquee with free live music most evenings.
The popular ‘What’s not my Line’ competition returns, a traditional carnival event which has been running for years. Many of the local shops will place an object in their shop window which they normally do not sell and all you have to do is find it! Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well many of the shopkeepers are getting more and more cunning, and take it from us, with some of them it’s not as easy at it sounds! Entry forms will be available from the Carnival caravan on the sea front and the Carnival Information Tent in the Showground.
Another favourite is the ‘Wheelbarrow Race’ – a pub crawl with a difference! Teams of 2 race around the pubs of Swanage having a pint at each! If you fancy joining in it costs just £10 to enter, and fancy dress is a must!
And of course the ‘Yard of Ale’ competition returns, a tradition which dates back to the 17th Century. How quickly can you down a yard of ale? The current record is just 5 seconds! And for those wondering, a yard of ale is around two and half pints!
There’s so much going on that we couldn’t possibly list everything here however the organisers produce a carnival programme, which costs just £2.50. We recommend that you purchase one of these programmes and not only will you get a great brochure detailing all the events but you will also be helping to support the carnival and their chosen charities.
The carnival receives no funding from any source so relies on sponsorship, the sale of the programme and local support.
The programme can be purchased online via the Swanage Carnival website. Please note P&P prices apply.
Alternatively you will be able to pick up a copy at the Swanage Tourist Information Centre on Shore Road and in many of the local shops and holiday parks nearer the event.
The programme is your ultimate guide to Carnival week and if you don’t want to miss anything then you’ll need this programme so please pick one up.
Finally throughout the week you’ll see many volunteers with their buckets so please dig deep into your pockets and give what you can!
Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this calendar. Dates and times may be subject to change, you are advised to check beforehand with the event organiser. We cannot be held liable for any errors or misprints or for any cancelled or rescheduled events. Maps are for guidance only and you are advised to obtain detailed location details before planning any journey.