The Swanage Carnival and Regatta is fast approaching and this year’s event is set to be bigger and better than ever before. Commencing on 27th July and running over the course of 8 days, this annual event is a family favourite and well worth a visit during your stay in Swanage.
The 2019 entertainment programme is jam packed with events and activities that the whole family will enjoy. From dog shows and races to live music, spectacular fireworks and one of the best seaside carnival processions in the UK – you’re guaranteed a week to remember and an experience that will keep you coming back to Swanage year on year.
This year’s carnival theme is ‘Swanage goes musical’ so expect to see fancy dress from some of your favourite films and stage shows.
Swanage Carnival is the biggest traditional carnival on the south coast and boasts a two-and-a-half-mile procession route, which snakes along the historic seafront. The procession comprises of both walking entries and decorated floats as well as motorbikes, buggies, carts and prams! There will be seven bands performing this year, including a popular comedy band and the world-famous Mas Band, who will help to create a party atmosphere with dazzling costumes and energetic dance routines.
The annual dog show continues to grow in popularity and this year there are 15 classes to enter, including most handsome dog, best junior handler and best fancy dress. Bring your four-legged friend to this day long event and see how many rosettes you can win.
Aerobatic and firework displays
The FireFlies aerobatic display team are coming to Swanage this year and are set to put on a magnificent display. The incredible spectacle will see a team of pilots lighting up the skies above Swanage Bay with pyrotechnics and LED lighting as part of their gravity defying routine.
Our extremely popular carnival firework displays will be returning for 2019 and taking place at approximately 9.45pm on Saturday 27th July, Wednesday 31st July and Saturday 3rd August. Head to the seafront to watch the beautiful colours and see the evening end with a bang.
Budding artists will love the creative activities on offer at Swanage carnival this year. On Friday morning the popular pavement artist competitions will return allowing you to decorate the pavement with your best design using colourful chalk. Brand new for 2019 is a photo marathon, which challenges you to put your camera skills to the test over a 48 hour period, as you search for creative ways to capture a range of topics.
If you’re up for a challenge why not enter one of the many sporting events taking place on ‘Sporting Saturday’, the opening day of Swanage carnival. There is a four-mile fun run, children’s races as well as indoor rowing to try.
Swanage carnival wouldn’t be the same without the quirky events that make it special, including the adrenaline fuelled wheelbarrow race which takes place on the Friday evening. More than 50 teams’ race through the town in fancy dress as they’re cheered on by the crowds! For younger members of the family looking to join in, there’s also a go cart grand prix for aspiring race car drivers!
On Monday the carnival marquee will be filled with local producers selling a wonderful selection of locally produced hand made goods. Whether you’re looking for stunning artwork to commemorate your visit to Dorset or some tasty artisan food and drink to sample you’ll find it all at our market day.
On Thursday afternoon there is a family fun day taking place at our show ground arena with a variety of children’s activities on offer. Try your hand at learning some circus skills, wacky races, giant lawn games or dance your heart out at the children’s party and disco. There’s also a crabbing competition on Tuesday to get into the seaside spirit!
Where to stay
Our Swanage holiday park is just a short walk from the town, making it the ideal place to enjoy the festivities.We have very limited accommodation available for this year’s carnival (it’s always best to book early), however please get in touch to see whether we have any last minute availability!
For full details of all of the events taken place at Swanage Carnival 2019 you can purchase a programme from the carnival souvenirs caravan, which will be available in town.
Header image photo credit: Greg Edgings