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The Sussex holiday cottage blog » Let's Get Festive!

Let's Get Festive!

Posted 18 April 2017 by Andrew Gardner google authorship button

Jack in the Green Hastings

May Day brings festivals to Sussex - not the purely musical sort, this time; those are yet to come. The May Day celebrations take place over the whole bank holiday weekend and range from family-friendly street festivals to organised events at established venues, so there's something for everyone.
 
My pick are Jack in the Green, the Streets of Battle and Food Folk, but there will be others large and small across East and West Sussex so wherever you're staying, I hope you'll find a festival.
 
I've chosen Jack In The Green at Hastings (28 April-1 May) for its connection with nature, people and the environment - and the bonus that Hastings is by the sea and has plenty of other visitor attractions. JITG is quite eccentric, sort of Morris dancing and merriment meets local and regional music and a madcap parade at the end. You'll find music plus historic and social events for all the family over the whole weekend, and it culminates in the Jack In The Green parade, which sets off from the fishermen's huts in the old town at 9.45am on Bank Holiday Monday. It's merry-making unleashed and a delightful experience.
 
Streets of Battle, on the last Saturday of April (also, in fact, on the last Saturday of May) is all about street art and performance. Featuring Circo Rumbaba, Brash Street Theatre, Battle Youth Street Theatre, the Dende Nation Drummers and, of course, Dolly Delicious Day of the Dead Stilt Walker - well, who'd miss that? Last year it was brilliant - I didn't get to the March event this year so I'm really looking forward to it.
 
And for something a little more genteel (relatively), the Food & Folk Festival at the Weald & Downland Open Air Museum on 29 April-1 May will showcase a fine selection of Southeast England's produce and folk traditions. There'll be free cookery classes and demonstrations, talks, folk music and dancing all around the site to watch and take part in, local crafts and produce and of course the chance to taste plenty of it.
 
Wherever you're staying in Sussex, whether you're on your own, with a large group or anything in between, I hope you'll make it to one of our May Day festivals - I think we could all use some fun and frivolity!