A POPULAR event encouraging children to get out on the water and try new activities is returning.
Gosport Marine Festival is expected to attract thousands of people to the town for its event promoting waterborne sports and marine businesses.
It is a great family event, especially for young people who can come along and enjoy themselves.Councillor John Beavis
The success of Gosport sailing legend Alex Thomson in the global ocean race the Vendee Globe is expected to boost the event and bring more people to Haslar Marina and the town centre.
Gosport Marine Festival chairman Councillor John Beavis said: ‘The festival attracted 5,000 visitors in 2015. It is a great family event, especially for young people who can come along and enjoy themselves.
‘First timers are most welcome and there is plenty for experienced sailors too.
‘If you don’t fancy going afloat, you can watch in safety or enjoy the exhibitions and entertainment ashore.’
The free event is aimed at getting children of all ages to try new activities and sports, from windsurfing and paddle boarding to sailing yachts and row boats.
There will be lots to do on shore including live music, art and craft stalls and food and drink.
Cllr Beavis added: ‘This event would not be possible without the support of more than 150 volunteers who are giving their time freely and the generosity of charities, businesses and our sponsors.’
Gosport-based marine safety equipment manufacturer Crewsaver will be sponsoring the event on May 27.
Marketing manager Hannah Burywood said: ‘We’re very excited to be involved with the Gosport Marine Festival.
‘It’s a great opportunity to promote safety on and around the water, especially to a younger audience through Little Shipmates.’
Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage has also welcomed back the festival which is held every two years.
She said: ‘Gosport Marine Festival is a wonderful free event aimed at showing residents the abundance of opportunities on and in the water.’
There will be more than 800 places.