Thousands enjoy the celebrations

Willingdon Beacon and Fireworks
Willingdon Beacon and Fireworks

MORE than 20,000 people attended the Diamond Jubilee Celebrations in Eastbourne over the long weekend.

The free three-day festivities to mark the Queen’s 60 year reign took place on the seafront Western Lawns, where there were a number of events for all the family, including a seafront carnival, big screen and much more.

Organised by Eastbourne Borough Council and Eastbourne Cultural Communities Network, the festival also had a number of fun competitions, live music and dance events, a beacon lighting and fireworks, plus all the live action from Buckingham Palace on a big screen.

The Wish Tower was lit up in red, white and blue on Monday night, to create the epic Brian May memory from the Golden Jubilee. Tom Marchant, from local indie band Audio6 stood on top of the tower playing a number of rock songs, including God Save The Queen.

Mayor Mike Thompson began the big countdown to the beacon lighting and fireworks. There was also a celebrity amongst the many spectators, with many sightings of cooking legend Gordon Ramsay at Eastbourne’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations on Monday evening.

The sun was shining for Eastbourne’s Flotilla of yachts. 20 vessels left Sovereign Harbour to sail along the seafront to Beachy Head and back again – competing for the title of Best Dressed Boat, which was won by Ship of Fools.

Eastbourne Borough Council cabinet member for tourism Neil Stanley said, “What a truly magnificent weekend!

“I am delighted how successful Eastbourne’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations were and so glad that everyone enjoyed themselves. A big thanks to allwho helped with the event, as a lot of hard work went into organising the brilliant festivities and I’m looking forward to next year already.”

Western Lawns was complete with a funfair and a magnificent display of historic motor vehicles, some coming from as far as America and being more than 80 years old.

Many residents and visitors were out and about enjoying the long Bank Holiday weekend and the celebrations in Eastbourne.

There were live food demonstrations from many of the local hotels and Masterchef winner Peter Bayless.

Eastbourne’s Towner had its busiest weekend ever with more than 1,700 visitors on Saturday alone – and the crowds just kept coming with visitor figures remaining in double figures over the Bank Holidays.

The People’s Monarch family workshops were also incredibly popular and great fun for all the family.

There was a trip down Memory Lane at the Redoubt with a special two day Blackout and Bunting event and workshops and living history displays and a dance.

Next year’s date is yet to be confirmed, but discussions are already underway with partner groups for celebrations in relation to Fiesta and the carnival, to see how the 2013 calendar works for everyone.