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This guide to whats on 2008 events on the isle of Wight is based on 2007 guide - it will be updated shortly.
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight February 2008
"The Blues Room" - THE IAN SIEGAL BAND

 February 2008, The Venue at Ryde Theatre, Ryde
The first event showcases "one of the finest blues voices this side of the Atlantic" - Ian Siegal and his band. Without doubt the most talented musician to emerge from Britain on to the European blues scene in years. He doesn't just perform the blues, he is possessed by them. He doesn't just play the guitar, he talks to it...and it talks back.
Ian Siegal is THE hot property on the European Blues scene; a singer, songwriter and guitarist who is putting the UK back on the world Blues map.
His latest and second album “Meat & Potatoes” is described by MOJO (Feb.06) as “awash with wit, lust and distraction…….one of the most inventive Blues recordings ever made by a British artist.”

Whats on on the Isle Of Wight March 2008
Ventnor Winter Gardens, Pier Street, Ventnor
From the USA, Texas Bluesman EUGENE 'HIDEAWAY' BRIDGES
Eugene is a master of the blues, and some have dubbed him the next BB King. He headlines Spring Blues 2008 to enchant us with his soulful blues.
Coupled with the expected mastery of his instrument, often the most potent strength in Eugene's stunning range of talents is his voice: at once mournful and yet hopeful, rangy but never overt, withan ability to juxtapose honey-dripped melodies with gravel throated wails.
And this is where the appeal of Eugene's music lies, for his sets are deeply moving affairs: foot tappin', rockin' and rollin' feel-good tunes are bookended by more sullen, sombre songs whose stripped-down nature often exposes the true talent that Eugene posesses: those of a songwriter whose sentiments can warm - or break - your heart.

Whats on on the Isle Of Wight April 2008

 April 2008 - Cowes/Solent
The RORC racing season kicks off on Friday 6th March with the Red Funnel Easter Challenge at Cowes, Isle of Wight, UK. This will be the 16th Edition of this popular event.
The regatta is the curtain raiser for what is sure to be a marvellous season of sailing; with the Rolex Fastnet race also this year it is bound to attract some of the most awe inspiring yachts to the waters around Great Britain and Ireland.
The Red Funnel Easter Challenge is now a firm favourite on the yacht racing calendar. Primarily a tuning regatta for the coming season, this competitive event allows those taking part to brush the cobwebs off their boats and to put the skill of their crews to the test.
Organised by the prestigious Royal Ocean Racing Club with the support of Red Funnel, the regatta consists of a series of short sharp races held over tight Solent course. Courses are set each day depending on the wind and tide conditions.
Spectators can watch from Cowes Yacht Haven as the boats depart their berths each morning and return in the evening after racing. Please check racing times.

April 2008 - Ventnor
Enjoy a weekend of jazz in with some of the finest female jazz artists around. Set in the beautiful Victorian seaside town of Ventnor, this whole weekend is dedicated to showcasing an International line-up of Jazz Divas, performing many different types of jazz, from New Orleans to contemporary.
With three fantastic nights full of over 30 different concerts, and all situated within easy walking distance of each other, the Isle of Wight Jazz Divas Festival really is an event to relax the body, free the mind and sooth the soul.

Presented by the Rotary Club of Cowes.  April, Northwood Park, Cowes, from 11am

After is great success in 2007, the 2nd annual St Georges Day celebration in Cowes. Many other Patron Saints are celebrated, so the Rotary Club have decided its time to revive a celebration for our Patron Saint - St George.

The event starts with a procession, departing from East Cowes Town Hall at 11am. This then leads to the ideal setting for the celebrations at Northwood Park where there is entertainment for all the family.

Come along in fancy dress and meet St George and a Dragon, whilst enjoying dancing, bands, a tug-of-war tournament, craft stalls and much much more.
Whats on on the Isle Of Wight May 2008

 May 2008

The 10th annual Isle of Wight Walking Festival promises 16 days of spectacular walks, and celebrates its reputation as the UK's largest Walking Festival

Step out and discover the island in the 2008 Isle of Wight Walking festival. As one of the UK's best destinations for walking pursuits, there are walks for all interests - families, fun, fitness, seasoned ramblers and leisurely walkers.

Why not lace up your boots, catch a ferry to the Isle of Wight & join the UK's largest walking festival. This year promises around 160 guided walks, from short strolls to longer hikes such as the 'Walk the Wight' for seasoned ramblers. Each walk has its own theme -pub trails to dinosaurs, ghosts walks to lantern processions, local wildlife trails to spectacular coastal hikes.

With an area of 147 square miles of well maintained, signposted footpaths around dramatic coastlines and unspoilt countryside, it's not surprising that the Island has long been a source of inspiration to all of its visitors. With over 500 miles of bridleways and footpaths, walking is one of the best ways of experiencing an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

 May 2008
Cowes Yacht Haven

RIBEX is the world’s only boat show dedicated solely to Rigid Inflatable Boats.








For ribsters - it is the show not to be missed!
WALK THE WIGHT - For the Earl Mountbatten Hospice

May 2008

Get fit and get walking for charity. Join one of the popular 'Walk the Wight', a long distance sponsored walk for the Earl Mountbatten Hospice which takes place during the UK's largest Walking Festival. Over £156,000 was received in sponsorships from the event in 2005!.

Walkers can enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery on the Island and have the choice of three distances.

> Bembridge to Carisbrooke Castle - 12.5 miles.
> Carisbrooke Castle to Alum Bay (along the Tennyson Trail) - 14 miles.
> Bembridge to Alum Bay via Carisbrooke Castle - 26.5 miles.

All money raised goes into the Earl Mountbatten Hospice £1 million Appeal towards financing the redevelopment of the Island's only hospice. The walk is organised by the Hospice, supported by a small committee and walkers are, therefore, asked to obtain sponsorship or make a donation. Registration is compulsory but application forms are available online or by calling 01983 528989

May 2008 - Ninham Farm, Shanklin

Summer begins with the 2008 Wight Diamond Festival! Come along for the mountain bike party of the year! There are more events, more entertainment and bigger prizes than ever!

Over the past ten years, The Wight Diamond has earned it’s reputation as the best mountain bikers party on the calendar. This year is going to be better than ever! The weekends events centre on the two day Wight Diamond Challenge navigator race, which takes place over Saturday and Sunday. This is the ultimate Navigator event using the whole Island as it’s course. But if two days of all out competition sounds a little too serious for you, enter the Trail Ale Trail instead - the checkpoints are pubs and cafés and prizes will be awarded for ‘entering into the spirit of the event’!

If you've still got more riding in you, take on the King of the Hills on Monday, featuring the Hair of the Hog for the hung-over hardcore. Alternatively, the Chill in the Hills will offer a more laid back Monday ride before you head off for your afternoon ferry.

As usual the main events will be complemented by a whole heap of side-show events and activities going on back at base. The big marquee will be back, featuring its usual attractions of food stalls, full bar and excellent live music (including the fantastic Hanging Baskets who are back after last years absence for Sunday nights prize giving party (always a lively affair, with music ‘til late and the party going on into the small hours - perfect preparation for Mondays Hair of the Hog!).

 June 2008 - Yarmouth

Three days of free entertainment, spectacle and classic boats. Yarmouth is a favourite stop for yachts making their way east or west along the popular waters of the Solent. You don’t have to be (or to own) an “old gaffer” to join in.

This is the 10th Yarmouth Old Gaffers Festival and over 100 traditional boats are expected in Yarmouth Harbour this year. Some very special guests will also be welcome, including sailing trawlers from Torbay and friends from France, Belgium and Holland.
Yarmouth harbour will be filled with life and colour and many of the boats will participate in a race in the Solent on Saturday morning (the Pier and the Green are both good vantage points for spectators), while on shore there will be a huge range of attractions to keep the thousands of visitors entertained from morning till night all weekend.

This popular location has a splendid Tudor castle, charming cottages, well-stocked chandlery, unique shops, fine pubs and good eating-houses. The harbour will be filled with gaff-rigged vessels and the town square and quayside busy with craft stalls and a farmers’ market. Free entertainment and ample parking is provided for this splendid weekend of festivities. Make a date in your diaries for this now well-established, annual event.



July - Osborne House, Cowes

Set in the beautiful setting of Osborne House, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra will bless the Isle of Wight with a classical night to remember.

July sees the BSO see in the Last Night of Proms. With all the favourites such as Nimrod, Jerusalem and Land of Hope and Glory, and all the circumstance and pomp of the last night at the proms this promises to be a spectacular classical firework evening.

August 2008

With around 1,000 boats and 8,500 competitors taking part, Skandia Cowes Week is the longest-running, largest and most prestigious annual sailing Regatta in the World.

The 'Must Do' Event on the International Sailing Calendar. The 2008 Regatta marks the 13th Anniversary of Skandia's title sponsorship of the most famous sailing regatta in the World, Cowes Week. This year also celebrates the 43rd Anniversary of the Event's organising body, Cowes Combined Clubs (CCC).

Skandia Cowes Week first took place in 1826 and has been held in August every year since then (the only exception being during the two World Wars). This famous Regatta has been part of the British Summer social calendar for many years and is traditionally held after Goodwood and before the start of the grouse-shooting season.

Cowes Combined Clubs was formed in 1964 to co-ordinate the racing previously organised by the individual Cowes and mainland yacht clubs. Over the years the Regatta has been visited by royalty and other world-famous personalities as well as naval warships, superyachts and square-riggers.

8,000 sailors race over eight days in the Central, Eastern and Western Solent. Up to 1,000 boats compete, ranging from high-tech racing machines to classic day boats. 35 different classes are represented.

Thousands of spectators flock to Cowes to enjoy 'The Week'. Watch the on-water action from the Green and from Cowes Parade - it is estimated that there are 200,000 sailing and non-sailing visitors during the Week.

The Fireworks display includes over 10,000 fireworks plus effects and music. Up to 170,000 people watch in Cowes and from the mainland - it's big, it's spectacular and it's noisy!

Onshore fun - Let's party!
Many thousands of non-sailing visitors come to Cowes each August to enjoy the unique atmosphere that is Skandia Cowes Week. If you want to know what's happening out on the water, you can keep in touch by listening to the brilliant live commentary from Cowes Radio.

There's a fabulous festival atmosphere with street entertainers and music, and don't forget the spectacular Fireworks display.

The town of Cowes provides excellent facilities for the sailor and non-sailor alike, with plenty of pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes to choose from. The expanded Cowes Yacht Haven which is the focal point of activity during the Week, East Cowes Marina and Shepards Wharf also provide entertainment, food and bars as well as berthing (but book early as competition for berths is fierce).

The Yacht Haven's huge marquee and beer tent erected for Skandia Cowes Week and other major events, makes it a central meeting place for competitors and visitors alike. With fabulous food stands, supplier stands and the huge sound stage, which attracts many well-known groups, the Yacht Haven is certainly one of the places to be. Visitors can also enjoy the Parade Village on Cowes Parade which offers a vibrant atmosphere with relaxed entertainment. In recent years this has also grown to become a key location during Skandia Cowes Week.

So, if you're not planning to sail there is still plenty to do day and night, and the High Street is a good place to start. It offers a wide choice of chandleries, art galleries, antiques, clothing/leisurewear and gift shops and plenty more.

You can enjoy street theatre every afternoon on the Parade and in the High Street, or watch the starts and finishes on the Royal Yacht Squadron line from the Parade. Just to the West, The Green offers a panoramic viewing platform of the yachts cheating the tide as they battle their way to the finish and it's also an excellent spot from which to watch the Friday night firework display.

There's a lively week-long social programme ranging from the renowned Yacht Club Balls and Cocktail Parties to an excellent line-up of live bands performing in Cowes Yacht Haven; there's also a superb choice of cuisine available to suit every palate. The atmosphere on shore is carnival-like with plenty of open-air activities and street entertainment.

Skandia Cowes Week really is special to everyone involved, whether sailing or not. Visitors to Cowes can enjoy a unique opportunity to see the yachts afloat on the Solent waters and the people of Cowes and its businesses really get behind the Event and pull out all the stops to support this famous Regatta.


sponsored by Red Funnel and the Isle of Wight County Press.

Gardens open 1pm - 4pm.
Performance begins 2pm and lasts approx 1 hour.

Openwide children's theatre group perform the Pied Piper in the grounds of Mottistone Manor Garden. Performance lasts 1hr so bring a picnic to enjoy before it starts, follow the ratty trail and explore the gardens which are not normally open on a Friday.
Suitable for ages 4 - 11.


August 2008 -Cowes/Solent

This years event promises to be bigger and better than ever, combining the P1 World Championship with the Cowes Classic, making it one of the world's premier festivals of offshore racing.

The 2005 adn 2006 Powerboat Festival proved to be huge successes, with a great weekend of racing being enjoyed by all. A combination of ideal weather conditions, huge crowds and spectacular racing for both years meant that these weekends have been some of the most memorable in British Powerboat racing for many years.

The Cowes Classic, established in 1961, brings together in highly powered twin-engine racing machines and their crews from across the globe for four days of spectacular and highly competitive racing.

The 2008 festival will commence on Saturday 24th August and is set to be just as popular as last years event. It will include a series of national and championship rounds along with the British Grand Prix, comprising of two rounds of the Powerboat P1 World Championship.

Monday 27 Aug to Sunday 3 September 2008 from 10am - Yaverland, Sandown (& various venues islandwide).

Don't miss Europe's largest Extreme Sports festival, where the elite compete in eleven awesome watersport and landsport championships. Prepare to be amazed by the intense action and the sheer radical style of some 500 Kiteboarders, Windsurfers, Surfers, Gravity Bikes, Street Luge, Skate Vert+Street, BMX, Mountain Boards and more! Back ashore, enjoy the biggest parties of the season with entertainment every day and every night and make time to visit some of the UK's premier trade and demo displays.

For the first time, Wight Air will host the 2008 World Windsurfing Formula Championships with some 100 racers from 40 countries. In addition, the festival features the usual mix of extreme sports and great shore side parties for competitors and spectators.

September 2008 - Wolverton Manor, Shorwell from 10am to 5pm

Sponsored by Red Funnel, this traditional country fair is a firm favourite for gardener’s. Set in the splendid grounds of Wolverton Manor, it recreates what might have been seen at the time the manor was built in the late 16th century.

The grounds alone are well worth a visit but the fair features musicians dressed in period costumes playing traditional music on authentic instruments. You can explore the nurseries, browse the interesting stalls, watch the craft demonstrations and explore the garden exhibitions. Also look out for the Red Funnel Dog Show and our great balloon race with a fabulous prize for the winner!



 September - Robin Hill Country Park, Newport, Isle of Wight

Bestival is a niche dance festival from Sunday Best and a weekend way of life for Radio 1 presenter Rob da Bank. This three day music and arts event is the last festival of the summer and is held at one of the country’s most magical parkland sites, Robin Hill set in the heart of the Isle of Wight.

The event will host a unique blend of great music and a celebration of fine food, good fun and the English countryside. Bestival will boast a musical mix of bands and DJs from the Sixties to the 21st century. That said, you’re as likely to catch an impromptu Morris dancing display or a brass band trooping across the field as you are the hottest new band or DJ from around the world!

 September 2008 - Island Wide

Cycling events for all:- Road racing time trials, British National Ladies races and mountain biking including the challenging Seven and Fourteen Hills Killer trails. Alternatively, you could settle for something more scenic and relaxing! Whatever your taste, dig out your lycra shorts, pump up your tyres and head for the Island

Sat 22 & Sun 23 Sept 2008
10am to 5pm - Afton Park, Freshwater

The Apple Days event has captured people's imagination, with young and old, locals and visitors attracted to the age-old traditions of harvesting and celebrating Orchards as very special places.

There are a wide range of produce stalls, craft stands, demonstrations, art, music and food on the menu. Families can help with the harvesting, taste freshly pressed apple juice and dine on apple & parsnip soup or freshly baked apple cake.
Apple Day Activities include:

apple picking
tree pruning demonstrations
apple identification
apple displays
apple tree care and management

Apple Day Entertainment includes:

Island samba band
Isle of Wight beers, wines & cider
Garden walks
Traditional Coconut Shy
Gypsy Caravan
Ferret Racing
Stilt Walkers & Circus Workshop
Story Telling in the Willow House
Face Painting
Pony & Trap Rides
IOW Farmer's Market
Children's Apple Olympics
IOW Acoustic Music Club
Vectis Classic Cars
Wolfguard historical re-enactment



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Sunnycott Caravan Park welcomes Cowes visitors

Sunnycott Caravan Park · Rew Street · Gurnard · Cowes · Isle Of Wight · PO31 8NN
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