January blues? There’s plenty to look forward to, so here are some dates to help you fill up your new 2018 diary...
Tickets go on sale on January 8 for the eighth annual BookFest from Monday, February 12 to Saturday, March 3 with a programme of events to suit all ages – from bestselling crime author Peter James, a full day of MysteryFest and Teddy Bears’ picnics for children.
Do you know your Wampus Cat from your Bowtruckle? Test your Harry Potter knowledge with a quiz night on Friday, January 26 from 7.30pm at Central Library. £5 per person, maximum six per team.
Icebreaker Festival – Southsea, Friday, February 2 and Saturday, February 3. Portsmouth’s premier unsigned music festival returns. Acts gearing up for the two-day event include Richard Morris, Is Bliss, Arcade Hearts and Foxer.
Visit the website for listings: www.icebreakerfestival.com.
‘Funnier than the Black Death’ – Spamalot will be on at the New Theatre Royal from February 20-24. Visit the ‘what’s on’ section of the website for tickets and details of other acts throughout the year.
During the Easter holidays there will be a range of children’s activities in Guildhall Square and the transformed D-Day Story will reopen in the spring.
May the Fourth
There’s lots going on in May – for Star Wars lovers there will be a May the Fourth event in Guildhall Square with screenings of Star Wars films on the big screen.
The Rural and Seaside Show will be at Castle Field from May 5-7 and the annual Mayor Making ceremony takes place in the Guildhall on May 15.
Mutiny Festival is also back for a fifth year at the King George V playing fields on May 26 & 27.
In June there will be a range of commemoration events for D-Day including the Royal British Legion’s D-Day Memorial Service on June 6 at the D-Day Memorial, Clarence Esplanade, Southsea and an Armed Forces Day community event – June 30, Southsea Common.
Hampshire Farmers’ Market will be in Portsmouth and Southsea throughout the year.
For dates www.visitportsmouth.co.uk and search Hampshire Farmers Market.
Hotwalls Studios are open throughout the year and has a range of courses and events for budding artists. Check on their website or sign up to their newsletter to keep updated.
Portsmouth International Kite Festival is back on Southsea Common on August 11&12 followed by the hugely popular Victorious Festival – August 24-26 with Libertines, Kaiser Chiefs, Shed Seven and the Lightning Seeds lined up for Friday night and more acts to follow.
For details and tickets visit: www.victoriousfestival.co.uk
David Walliams’ Awful Auntie is a must see for families at the King’s Theatre from September 12-16 and for older audiences the 60+ Festival returns to the city from October 1-12.
Great South Run
Pound the city’s streets in October with 20,000 other runners and take part in the prestigious Great South Run with events over the weekend of October 20-21.
As the nights draw in again there’s still plenty of free outdoor activities in Portsmouth including the annual Portsmouth City Council fireworks display on Wednesday, November 7 at King George V playing fields.
Remembrance events will take place throughout the latter part of the year culminating in the Remembrance Sunday service and parade on Sunday, November 11 in Guildhall Square. We’ll also take part in national events to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War, including bell ringing and beacon lighting ceremonies.
The city’s Christmas lights switch-ons will take place throughout the city during November – Southsea precinct on November 15, Commercial Road on November 22 and Cosham precinct on November 28 and the ice rink will also be back for the festive period with a Christmas market.