Old gaffers racing at last year’s event.
THE Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival promises three days of fabulous fun from next Friday, May 30.
The festival, which is now in its 18th year, is a favourite event on the Isle of Wight calendar, attracting thousands of people to enjoy the non-stop entertainment, plus the colourful spectacle of boats in the harbour.
The festivities kick off with the grand opening at noon on Friday. The Yarmouth lifeboat will swoop into the harbour, helmed by coxswain Howard Lester, who will perform the opening ceremony. He will be assisted by his crew, who regularly risk their lives to save those in peril at sea.
Since the lifeboat is at the heart of the Yarmouth community, the festival organisers have chosen the RNLI as this year’s Old Gaffers charity. £1 from the sale of each programme will be donated to the charity.
Celebrating Yarmouth is the theme this year. This covers many aspects of the town, including its long history.
Throughout the three days of the festival, the town square will be filled with an international market. Yarmouth will be alive with street theatre acts, brought in from Covent Garden and a variety of musicians and acts will be performing in and around the town. All this entertainment is free.
There will be stalls across the green, selling everything from exotic treasures to Island cheese. The craft tent will display the wares of the talented arts and crafts community of the Island, as well as many makers from the mainland.
The McGaffers Bar will be located in the main marquee on the quay. Gaffers is now the biggest real ale festival on the Island, with a wide range of local and designer ales.
A wide range of daytime entertainment includes the Wight Variety, performing wartime songs on Friday, a Tae Kwon Do demonstration on Saturday and a fun dog show on Sunday.