Festival Ships Food JetSki Airshow Red Arrows Music Night
Whitehaven Festival 2010 was fantastic, yet again aided by baking hot sunshine all weekend, where any breeze from the sea was a welcome relief. Any worries that it might be diminished by becoming an annual event seem to be dispelled by one of our best festivals ever. The fact that the harbour was packed for the whole event on a weekend that also had Glastonbury, England in the world cup, and Wimbledon is testament to the quality of the results of Whitehaven's endeavours.
The festival had probably the biggest fun-fair yet, spread over three sites, with rides provided by local fairground company Taylor's.
For people who enjoy a thrill there were plenty of rides designed to spin you, throw you about and lift you to vertiginous heights and drop you back to the ground, confusing the senses for a near death experience in complete safety.
Most of the adrenaline junkies on the more terrifying rides were teenagers, usually in groups daring each other to have a go, but there was also a lot of rides for younger children with parents.
Also, there was that old fairground favorite the dodgems, or bumper cars, near the north pier along with many other attractions for younger family members.
It is also amazing to see how quickly these rides especially the big ones, such as the fun house called the Crazy Circus, seem to appear from no-where, then after the festival fold up and can be transported away on the back of a truck the following day.
Again on the north side of the harbour was this beautiful, ornately decorated, traditional merry-go-round which provided a more gentle ride for those not into the fear rides.
New to this year's festival were these fantastic spheres which appeared to be the best fun you can have on water without getting wet. They were a reduced version of the huge sphere that Colourscape used to provide an artistic production on the harbour on Friday and Saturday nights and watching kids trying to stand up in them was probably equally entertaining.
The deep-sea divers returned to the festival with their deep tank in which divers performed underwater tasks all weekend and this time were accompanied by divers in vintage equipment.
The Royal Navy Bomb Disposal were on the Sugar Tongue demonstrating their equipment and the specialist protective clothing used by operatives dealing with suspect devices.
On show was one of the bomb disposal teams most important tools - a remotely operated vehicle with tracked wheels and telescopic arm bristling with equipment to investigate and disarm explosive devices.
Another robot amazing the crowds with his amusing range of cabaret routines was Titan the Robot seen at Whitehaven Festival shortly before entering the Big Brother house in the following weeks.
Zumba Cumbria performed several times on the CFM stage with their energetic calorie burning routines set to up-tempo music. They also managed to get many of the crowd to join in, which was probably just as well, considering the amount of high calorie foods on sale that needed this entertaining antidote.
Music was also provided by this trio previously seen as the Marratimes at previous festivals and the Tall Ship Ruth provided a perfect backdrop.
The RAF had this simulator to allow people to see inside the cockpit of a modern fighter jet and there was also several full video flight simulators around the festival.
This captured mobile ground to air missile launcher was another piece of military hardware on display, parked outside the new harbour flats.
Babcock had supplied this armoured light personnel carrier designed to replace the Snatch Land Rover vehicles that have become too vulnerable to improvised explosive devices used by guerrilla fighters. The Jackal 2 has a 6.7 litre engine that gives it fantastic speed and acceleration on road and a unique suspension transfers that to off road. It is also equipped with better protection for it occupants both in terms of armour and countermeasures.
On hand to provide some humour were a variety of performers including the Van Dunk brothers and the Fairly Famous family life guards.
A very useful commercial demonstrator at this year's festival was the Dyson Airblade tent. This was situated immediately opposite the porta-loos near the end of Duke Street so that you could give your hands a good wash before going for some of those delicious Made-in-Cumbria burgers and hot-dogs.
During the festival there were two helicopters in the air almost continually, giving people the experience of flying over Whitehaven and getting the best possible view of the festival. They were taking off from the fields on the brow at Kells and so a shuttle bus ferried people from Strand Street to the take-off zone.
Return to Western Lakeland Events
Whitehaven Festival official website www.thefestival.org.uk
Taylors Funfair - www.fun-fairs.com
Royal Navy - www.royalnavy.mod.uk
The Royal Airforce - www.raf.mod.uk
Zumba Cumbria - www.zumbacumbria.com
Titan the Robot - www.titantherobot.com
The Fairly Famous Family - www.fairlyfamousfamily.com
Van Dunk Brothers - www.breadandbuttertheatrecompany.co.uk
© WAWL 2010