The Summer is here (hooray) and school holidays are just around the corner. With fingers crossed for good weather and plenty of sunshine, we’ve rounded up just some of the events taking place in our communities over the next few weeks.

St Leonards Festival – 1 July

St Leonards Festival poster

This year’s theme is “People of The Coast” and the event will celebrate the vibrant community of St Leonards-on-Sea, showcasing the area’s culture, creativity, and diversity. The festival is free and promises a day of music, art, food, and fun for the family. Visit the St Leonards Festival website.

Eastbourne Celebrating Diversity Festival – 1 July

A free event in the town centre to celebrate inclusivity and culture through art, music and cuisine. It will feature a full day of live music, artists, street performers, poets and a kids’ corner. Visitors will be able browse around 30 market stalls all selling an array of world gifts and food. The Visit Eastbourne website has more information.

Chiddingly Green Weekend – 1 July

This year’s Greening Chiddingly “Green Weekend” will include a Jumble Trail through Chiddingly and Muddles Green (like a boot sale but with stalls in front of houses). There will also be a series of “Eco Open House” sites around the village, where visitors will be able to talk to home and land-owners about the environmental improvements they have made. Greening Chiddingly website.

Eastbourne Classic Bus Running Day – 2 July 

All aboard for Eastbourne and a festival of classic buses. The event will feature free services operated by vintage buses from Eastbourne Station serving a number of local destinations, a free open top vintage bus service to the Top of Beachy Head and Birling Gap, and sales stands at the station selling memorabilia. Around 15 to 20 buses will be operating and the services will be free to all passengers.

All buses will start from the car park adjoining Eastbourne Station between 10am and 5pm. For more information visit the Eastbourne Classic Buses Facebook page.

Eastbourne Food and Arts Festival – 8 July

Staying in Eastbourne, the town’s food and arts festival takes place in the independent shopping streets of Little Chelsea. As well as a range of stalls showcasing crafts and many local independent makers, there will also be free activities for children including face painting, painting and pottery, nail painting, hair fairy, free badge making, and sing-alongs. Visit Eastbourne has more.

Friends of the Conquest Hospital Summer Fete, Hastings – 15 July

Hospital fete poster

If you fancy some family fun while helping the local NHS, head for the Ark Alexandra/Helenswood playing field opposite the Conquest Hospital. The fete will include traditional family fun and games, such as a coconut shy, crock smash and plenty more, rides, a craft fair, plant stalls, live entertainment, BBQ, a bar and the Grand Summer Raffle. Entry is free, though donations are welcomed to support the hospital. The Friends of Conquest Hospital website.

Pirate Weekend, Hastings – 15 and 16 July

Are you a budding Captain Jack Sparrow? Hastings Pirate Weekend returns and promises swashbuckling pirates and a salty seadog or two. But fear not, they’re not here to hornswoggle and swindle, they’re here to have a barrel load of fun. The main event day is the Sunday. Expect drumming, performances, revelry and fun for everyone! Visit the Hastings Pirates Day Facebook page if ye dare!

Battle Festival – 15 to 30 July

Battle Festival poster

This two-week festival features performances in iconic settings such as Battle Abbey, the site of the Battle of Hastings, and attracts world-class performances and audiences to 1066 Country. In 2023 the festival will offer classical music concerts, opera, a jazz weekend and a family friendly community day. The Battle Scarecrow Competition runs for three weeks and forms part of the festival. Find out more on the Battle Festival website.

Crowborough Summer Fair – 15 July

Crowborough’s Summer Fair takes place at Goldsmiths Recreation Ground promising fun for all the family! There will be more than 30 stalls plus plenty of food and drink sellers. Green Transition Crowborough will be running their ECO Hub, where you can pick up some eco top-tips and try out some fun eco activities and Ashdown Radio will also be ‘live’ on-site. The main arena will feature dance performances, Taekwondo demonstrations, and the MAD team’s BMX show. There will also be two fun dog shows run by Arundawn Dog rescue! Find out more on the Crowborough Town Council website.

Medieval Encampment and Fair at Bodiam Castle

Encampment – 22 and 23 July

Fair – from 22 July to 31 August

Turn back the clock a few hundred years and get all medieval within the grounds of one of our county’s jewels – Bodiam Castle. 15th century re-enactment groups will bring the castle to life, re-enacting 15th century life from boardgames to skills like weaving and leatherwork. In the arena there will be weapons talks, dress the knight, sword demonstrations and more. Visit ye olde Bodiam Castle website for more information.

The weekend encampment also triggers the start of medieval games and activities over the summer holidays. Younger visitors will be able to weave their way around a mini jousting challenge, create their own mini-castle in the sandpit or see if they can hit the target in soft play archery. There will be hobby horses, quoits and skittles to play, and more.

Rye Food & Drink Festival – 21 to 23 July

Rye Food and Drink Festival Poster

Calling all foodies to Rye Town Salts which will be hosting its first Food and Drink Festival. A great selection of local, national and international stalls offering scrumptious street foods, great grocery foods and quirky arts and crafts will be complimented by a range of entertainments for the whole family including live music, a variety of activities for children, an alfresco dining area and bars. Rye, Sussex website has more details.

But whatever you get up to in July, we hope you have a fabulous start to the summer!