Hastings Old Town Carnival Week is an annual summer event celebrated in the Old Town of Hastings, East Sussex.
The Old Town week typically occurs during the first week of August and is officially opened on Winkle Island. During the week events such as concerts, street parties, charity races and Morris Dancing take place. The week ends with the Old Town Carnival procession, which contains ‘floats’, dancers, majorettes and marching bands and ends with a firework display in the evening.
The carnival was first started in 1969 after Old Town residents felt the original Hastings Carnival should have included the Old Town in its route and decided to set up their own carnival. The Old Town event gradually got more popular and bigger, whilst the Hastings event became less popular and eventually stopped. As a parting gift the Old Town organisers were allowed to title the Carnival Queen “Miss Hastings”. In 2018, the Carnival Court was rebranded the Sea Court and expanded to include a King, who carries the title Mr Hastings.
The week culminates in a spectacular firework display over the shimmering waters of the English Channel, painting the night sky with a kaleidoscope of colours. This breath taking display leaves a lasting impression on both first-time attendees and seasoned carnival enthusiasts.