The Paddle Round The Pier has flourished over the years from its humble beginnings of just 50 attendees in 1996 to a highlight of the summer with 50,000-crowd, keen to enjoy and celebrate the water sports and beach-based activities whilst raising money for charity.
Now Europe’s biggest charity beach festival, The Paddle Round The Pier has become a staple of Brighton summertime, with festival goers flocking to the seafront for the two-day festival spectacular. The Hawaiian-themed free festival will celebrate its 22nd birthday on Sat 7 – Sun 8 July, jam packed with entertainment both on and offshore for everyone to enjoy.
The main event, the Paddle Round The Pier, sees hundreds of competitors surf, swim, and paddle round the West Pier. The much loved ‘paddle something unusual’ race requires entrants to get their creative caps on, and come up with the most ridiculous craft possible, attempting to make it round the pier in their sea-proof creation. Past entries have included a bed to a shed, anything is acceptable if it’s safe!
On top of this, there is a range of water sports, surfing, diving, swimming, paddle boarding plus more. Don’t forget your four legged friends as a Guinness World Record attempt for the most dogs on a paddle board will also take place in 2018!
For those wishing to stay dry, on the setting of the beautiful Hove lawns is the ‘paddle village’ featuring three entertainment stages with live music, entertainers, talks, workshops, kids stage and more! A ukulele stage will propel Hawaiian vibes into the festival and ramp up the ‘Aloha spirit.’ Dozens of stalls with food, drink, water sport related exhibitors, crafts and retailers ensure there really is something for everyone.
Changes in 2018 set the two-day festival to be the best yet. This year the festival is doing more to promote conservation of coastlines by going green, with all trays, cups and cutlery used by suppliers fully compostable. This makes Paddle the UK’s first compostable beach festival. Paddle is also an official registered charity from 2018, meaning greater capacity to support more causes and promote education and healthy enjoyment of the seaside.
The Paddle Round The Pier has received recognition as the ‘Best Event in the City’ in the Brighton and Hove Business Awards 2014, as well as voted “one of the top 15 summer destinations” by The Guardian. With The Independent noting the seafront festival as “a highlight of the summer” it is certainly worth heading down on July 7-8th to experience one of the best events of the year!