Excitement for this weekend’s Kite Festival and Illuminations Gala

This giant, 39ft teddy bear kite is already flying ahead of this weekend's festival
This giant, 39ft teddy bear kite is already flying ahead of this weekend's festival

Bognor will come to life in a sea of noise and colour this weekend with two of the town’s biggest and best loved events taking place.

The three-day annual kite festival begins on Saturday and then on Sunday night the streets will light up for the ever popular Bognor Regis Illuminations Gala.

The number of entries in the Illuminations Gala is set to match the temperature forecast, say organisers.

So far 20 entries have been received to date, helping ensure that the now traditional Sunday night crowd-puller lives up to its reputation as the town’s loudest, brightest and most colourful event.

However, despite a now healthier line-up due to the usual flurry of last minute entries, volunteers at Bognor Regis Seafront Lights say that entries are still welcomed, and can be accepted right up until the day before.

So there is still time to enter a float, pram, bicycle or walking group and be in with a chance to win one of the many trophies and cash prizes, totalling £275.

Organiser Greg Burt said: “Yes, very much look forward to it, as it is such a magical night for the town, especially seeing all the kids’ faces light up when they see all the vehicles and groups all lit up.

“If anyone wants to see the procession but doesn’t like deep crowds, the procession will be going down West Street which will be a bit quieter.”

This year’s line-up will as usual be lead by the Horndean Band and also include lights’ mascot Billy Bulb.

The event has been held virtually without interruption since it was started in 1978, attracting thousands of residents and visitors to line the route and admire the illuminated floats and walking groups, prior to the firework display from the Pier at 10pm.

Because of the three-day Kite Festival in West Park, the procession will leave Silverston Avenue alongside West Park at 8.30pm, winding its way along the seafront, Aldwick Road, West Street and Lennox Street before re-joining the seafront.

Prize giving takes place opposite the Pier at approximately 10.15pm immediately following the Fireworks at 10pm from The Pier.

The colourful kite festival, now in its third year, runs from 10.30am on Saturday to 4pm on Monday and will see professional kite fliers attend from all regions of the UK, and there will be live music, children’s rides, craft stalls, a bar and refreshments at West Park in Aldwick. There will be lots of fun and fantastic flying things - including this giant teddy pictured.