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Things to look forward to in 2020

10th January 2020

For many, the January blues are starting to set in now that the festive celebrations are over and it’s time to go back to work but a new year can bring fresh starts, exciting opportunities and new challenges.

One of the best ways to beat those January blues is to look forward to all the exciting things coming to Plymouth in 2020, including world-class events, special celebrations and the highly anticipated opening of The Box as well as the Mayflower 400 commemorations.

Here are some highlights to look forward to in 2020.

Special anniversaries

VE Day | 8th May

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the official end of World War Two in Europe. VE Day will be marked with a ceremony on Plymouth Hoe starting at 11am followed by a Parade of Standards.

The early May Bank Holiday has also been moved to Friday 8th to coincide with VE Day.

Mayflower 400 anniversary | 16th September

This September is the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s legendary voyage to the New World, departing from the Mayflower Steps located at the entrance to Sutton Harbour. The Mayflower Ceremony will take place on Wednesday 16th September with representatives from the UK, US, Netherlands and Wampanoag attending.

This to look forward to in 2020- Mayflower 400

Mayflower 400

Mayflower 400 events 

Throughout the year there will be a huge variety of exciting events and activities to look forward to which will take place across the city as part of the Mayflower 400 commemorative year, from the Get Active Programme to the Mayflower 400: Legend & Legacy exhibition at The Box.

Mayflower Sports Week | 21st-29th March

A week full of activities, games and workshops celebrating professional sport in Plymouth, in association with Plymouth Argyle, Plymouth Albion and Plymouth Raiders.

Mayflower Ocean Festival Week | 4th-10th May

Celebrating Plymouth’s status as Britain’s Ocean City, the week will bring a whole host of ocean activity from the start of the OSTAR and TWOSTAR yacht races to Pirates Weekend.

Mayflower Week | 14th-20th September

Mayflower Week marks the anniversary of the date the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, bringing a range of exciting events including the Mayflower Ceremony, the Royal Marines Rehabilitation Triathlon, a visit from the 15th century replica ship The Matthew and the Mayflower Muster.

Illuminate | 26th-29th November

Marking the official end of the Mayflower commemorative year, the Illuminate Festival will light up Plymouth’s waterfront with a variety of activities, live demonstrations and interactive displays.

Things to look forward to in 2020- Illuminate Festival

Illuminate Festival

Other notable events include:

  • The Mayflower Trail – launching in February alongside the Hoe and City Centre trails.
  • The Theatre Royal Plymouth’s first transatlantic community production, This Land.
  • The reopening of the Elizabethan House after major restoration work.
  • The 400 – a light-hearted, historical comedy production looking at Britain’s relationship with America for the last 400 years.

Sutton Harbour developments

Work is underway for the two new mixed-use residential and commercial developments which will regenerate the eastern side of the harbour.

Sugar Quay and Harbour Arch Quay will offer luxury, waterside apartments with contemporary designs and stunning views as well as a range of new food and drink venues and a welcoming new area of enhanced public realm on the harbourside for visitors to enjoy making use of.

The return of our favourite events

Pirates Weekend | 9th-10th May

A weekend of swashbuckling fun. The two-day event offers entertainment for all the family from sward-fighting demonstrations to re-enactment displays, plus the chance to climb aboard a pirate ship.

British Firework Championships | 12th-13th August

This world-famous event is one of the city’s most popular dates in the calendar, with thousands of people flocking to Plymouth’s waterfront to watch the UK’s top six firework teams present their spectacular displays over two nights.

Things to look forward to in 2020- British Firework Championships

British Firework Championships

Plymouth Seafood Festival | 12th-13th September

The Plymouth Seafood Festival celebrates Plymouth’s fantastic seafood trade. The festival offers live entertainment, exciting activities for all the family and tasty dishes that showcases the very best in locally caught seafood.

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