23 fantastic Thanet events we enjoyed in 2017

Ramsgate carnival fun in July Photo Frank Leppard

We are coming to the close of 2017 and what an amazing year for events it has been.

There is nowhere quite like the isle when it comes to putting on family fun, especially during the Summer.

We have had everything from folk in Victorian costume for Dickens Week to hundreds of pampered pets flocking at King George VI Park for the annual Pugathon.

We take a look at 23 (more if you split up all the Christmas activities!) brilliant events in Thanet in 2017

November and December

Photo Brian Whitehead

Thanet was lit up for Christmas across the isle. Events included family fun in Ramsgate, Broadstairs, Margate, Birchington, Cliftonville and Westgate as well as a festive fundraiser in Minster.

Cecil Square got its Christmas tree and lights thanks to a community effort, boats in Ramsgate harbour put on a stunning display and all three towns and the villages had visits from Santa.


Screamland was back at Dreamland for its third year.

The scare-fest, staged for the first time since Dreamland’s £25 million overhaul -had six mazes open for six nights.

Screamland upped the fear factor for 2017 with all-new mazes and disorientating experiences involving vision-blocking hoods and areas that visitors  had to crawl through.

Quextreme also took place at Quex park and Westgate Pavilion again hosted The Mad House.


OhSoRetro at Palm Bay Photo Frank Leppard

Thousands of visitors turned out for the OhSoRetro car show in Palm Bay.

The event featured some 1,400 classic and retro vehicles, more than 50 club stands, trade stalls and auto jumble.

There was also live music, children’s entertainment and retro gaming competitions.

Photo Adam Dark

The Wheels and Fins three day sports and music fest at Joss Bay was packed with action and enjoyed by thousands of visitors.

Crowds were treated to live music from acts including Reef , Twin Atlantic, Mike Vallely and others, as well as the UK Mini Ramp Champs, UK BMX Flatland Champs, Surf and Sup, the popular soapbox races, craft beers, stalls, food and more.

Thousands of people packed out the Addington Street Revival Fair in Ramsgate.

The annual event, which this year expanded into Nelson Crescent, Vale Square and Spencer Square, attracted more than 80 stall holders and a constant crowd of bargain hunters throughout the day.


Photo Adam Dark

Ramsgate Seaside Rocks Festival was packed with revellers enjoying music and fun in the sunshine.

The event, organised by The Ramsgate Seafront Traders’ Association, was held over the Bank Holiday in Harbour Parade, Pier Yard and The Queen’s Head pub.

Attractions included music, a funfair, street food and a festival stage plus fireworks on Sunday night.

Photo Carole Adams

Broadstairs beach had a full programme for the town’s annual water gala.

The event celebrated the best of the traditional English seaside, with activitis including beach competitions, water activities, nautical characters, all day entertainment, family funfair and a firework display.

Photo Adam Dark

Folk week revellers headed to Broadstairs to enjoy events around the town.

The festival, in its 52nd year, had more than 500 separate events crammed into one week. The 600 seater Concert Marquee in Pierremont park was the festival hub where the headline acts appeared but there were also gigs in the town’s pubs and lots of children’s fun and music at the bandstand.

Photo Adam Dark

More than 500 people dressed in an array of fantastic and colourful outfits took part in Margate Pride parade.

The fantastic spectacle wound its way from the Walpole Bay Hotel into the town, cheered on by the gathered crowds.

Fire Finale Photo Brian Whitehead

Nine days of brilliant events were enjoyed by families at this year’s Ramsgate Festival.

Despite the issue of the 300ft waterslide not being brought to the town the festival ended on a high note with a parade and fire show at the seafront.

At the carnival Photo Frank Leppard

The route for Margate carnival was packed as onlookers cheered the procession of floats and costumed characters taking part.

Led by Sangers Stage Show, which made the 200-mile pilgrimage from Stonehenge to join the parade, it also included carnival courts, dance schools, youth clubs and businesses and Broadstairs singer Mandy Winters performing as Diana Dors ahead of her Winter Gardens show.

Margate Soul Weekend was back with an even bigger Sunset Stage.

Hosted by Mi-Soul Radio, it featured live performances alongside a huge line up of DJs.

The event boasted more than 50 DJs, two stages, seven themed venues and four major live acts including The Blackbyrds.


Photo Frank Leppard

Scores of floats set off from Royal Esplanade to make a circuit of the town for the Ramsgate carnival.

Family fun also took place on Government Acre with music, stalls and rides.

Floats included those from East Kent Soccer School, Lark in the Park, the Sadlers, Macies and Hotel de Ville pubs, majorettes, carnival courts, fitness groups and more.

Battles for Victory Photo Martin Cook

Battles for Victory took place at Ellington Park.

The military-themed event included the rare chance to see the only big band performing the music of Glenn Miller that has direct family links to the musician.


Photos Paul Trindall

The 80th Broadstairs Dickens Festival took place with top hats and crinoline skirts in evidence everywhere.

There was something for everyone, from the play Pickwick at the Sarah Thorne theatre to a croquet master class, the Dickens Dog show and a banquet at The Yarrow.

Photo Carole Adams

The Gears of Change Classic Car Show and Fought for Freedom Military Show officially opened at Quex Park.

Visitors flocked to see a huge array of classic, vintage and interesting vehicles, fun fair, rides, gift, craft and traders market.

The Bucket and Spade Run Photo Brian Whitehead

The historic classic car drive, the Bucket and Spade Run, went to Government Acre from Challock.

In its 36th year, it was presented by Ramsgate Old Motor and Motor Cycle Club and displayed vehicles dating from 1920 to modern day, varying in makes and models.


Ellington Park May Fayre

There was a day of sun and fun at the Ellington Park May Fayre.

The event featured a funfair, and steam train rides on the park’s unique model railway – a wide array of stalls, artisan food and drink, with old favourites such as the sophisticated Red Bean Coffee Machine, Stylish Ice Cream and Warner Wines returning and a traditional beer tent provided by the Flying Horse pub.

Pugs were out in force at Ramsgate’s King George VI Park.

Owners and their pets, kitted out in an array of weird and wacky outfits, visited the park for the third annual Thanet Pugathon.

Organiser Lucy Cook said despite the gloomy weather the turn-out was good and people enjoyed the day.


Photo by Adam Dark

Planet Thanet beer  festival took place at Margate’s Winter Gardens.

The CAMRA festival ran for two days.

The Four Candles Hazelnut Porter was the first cask to be emptied at the fest. Other isle businesses sharing their ales included the Lifeboat and Chapel bars which hosted the cider and perries bar.

Foodies were also treated to the Broadstairs Spring Fair.

Baby sister to the October Food Festival, the three-day event brought together a collection of local and county food and drink producers. In its fourth year, the fair is an early calender event –  drawing in visitors from across Thanet to enjoy the very best from the ‘Garden of England’,


Isle actor Jez Anderson and homegrown star Brenda Blethyn

There was a palpable buzz at the Granville Cinema in Ramsgate as the crowd arrived for the opening gala screening of the first Ramsgate International Film & TV Festival.

Guests from the arts and entertainment industries included festival patron and judge Brenda Blethyn, Project Motorhouse’s Janet Fielding, filmmakers Jan Dunn and Stephen Frost, composer Simon Boswell and the artist LG White, as well as Dee Anderson (who will give a talk on growing up with Thunderbirds) and producer Joan Lane (The King’s Speech), Looping the Loop and POW!Thanet.

Photo Paul Hampartsoumian

Fifty events over four days, POW! Thanet showcased everything from talks to sport to hip hop battles.

From isle pupils demonstrating their moves to choir conductors with a bird cage in their hair – POW! Had it all.

The festival ran from March 8-11 to mark International Women’s Week.


Two buglers from the Royal Marines band in Portsmouth played an emotional “Last Post” in a moving and passionate service at the Channel Dash Memorial Trust monument alongside Ramsgate’s Royal Harbour to commemorate the 75th anniversary of this military action.


Brrr-illiant New Year’s dippers at the Westcliff Photo Maxine Morgan

Bonkers Thanet folk took part in New Year’s Day dips all over the isle, including Viking Bay, Ramsgate main beach and at the Westcliff.