Festival Ships Food JetSki Airshow Red Arrows Music Night
The Whitehaven Festival 2012 saw a return once again for the world famous Red Arrows display team showing off their precision high speed formations in the skies above the harbour piers. It was a tribute to the success of previous events that the Whitehaven Diamond Jubilee Festival managed to secure the most sought after Red Arrows over the Bank Holiday Weekend.
Although a few people only came to see the Red Arrows the amazing amount of people that visited for the three days showed that the unique combination of music concerts, fun-fair, markets, ships, air shows and celebrity chefs - providing something for all ages - ensures the festival's continued success.
Crowds seemed to fill the entire length of the Millennium Promenade which was lined with a continental market and numerous outlets selling all types of hot and cold food and drinks and interesting crafts.
The big TV star thousands wanted to see was Titan the Robot who put on his display several times throughout the weekend, mainly on the Sugar Tongue which was a wristband access only area. Each time he put on a show the crowds wrapped around Titan and on the final day all wristbands were sold out and it was impossible to move along the quay.
Titan wasn't the only celebrity at this year's festival as ballroom dancer and TV personality Anton du Beke also put in an appearance. Famous for his regular appearances on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, the enthusiastic Anton was happy to pose for photos and sign some autographs on the Saturday.
On the Sunday, Michelle Collins who has graced our TV screens for many years in the two biggest soaps, Eastenders and Coronation Street, and appeared in numerous other shows, was escorted along the Sugar Tongue by Festival supremo Gerard Richardson. Michelle walked freely amongst people and despite the unseasonably cold weather always managed to summon up a natural smile for photos, and was happy to stop and chat and sign autographs. She also went onboard HMS Smiter, moored on the Sugar Tongue, to receive a presentation.
Over the weekend we also had performances from the Xtreme Jetski team in the harbour between the Sugar Tongue and Lime tongue which provides a perfect stage for their stunts with the audience on three sides looking down on the performance.
As a great day out for the whole family in conjunction with the displays of the Red-Arrows the RAF also provided jet simulators so people could experience flying as one of the Red Arrows and a fighter cockpit for the kids to climb into.
For the more adventurous kids there was also a high climbing wall which they could climb under supervision and with the appropriate safety equipment.
For younger kids trying to stand and run across the water in these inflated spheres allowed them to burn off a few calories in a fun way.
Even the youngest children had these cuddly characters to hug and have a photo with.
On the Sugar Tongue you could get very close to these magnificent owl's and have a photo taken with them. Their expert handlers also gave interesting talks about them and warned people with dogs not to approach too close as the large eagle owls would make light work of dispatching them. Near the marina entrance there was also a science tent with fun lectures and demonstrations and the Beacon had a collection of old Whitehaven photos displayed on the quay.
The Sellafield divers spent the whole weekend submerged in a large tank with windows in the side while people on the outside could interact with them and throw in coins for charity that the divers would collect from the bottom.
Sometimes the Sellafield divers were joined by the Royal Navy Bomb Disposal Unit which had a display next to the divers. They had on display both their diving equipment and UXB protection kit including a robotic bomb disposal vehicle.
As always there was a large fun fair with numerous and various rides for different ages and fear factors.
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
Titan the Robot - www.titantherobot.com
© WAWL 2012