Must-see events in Devon 2019 – top regattas, shows, family fun and festivals
Devon has a packed calendar of things to do throughout the year. From regattas to festivals and country shows, you’ll find tough decisions have to be made about which events in Devon you are going to prioritise. Here’s what’s on in 2019. What takes your fancy?
Looking for Devon family attractions? You’ll find plenty in my huge round up of more than 50 Devon days out with kids.
Or why not read my big Devon family holiday guide?
What’s on in Devon 2019
Here are our top picks for fantastic family-friendly events in Devon in 2019:
Festivals in Devon 2019
The Brixham Pirate Festival – 4-6 May, 2019
There be pirates in Brixham! If your way to see one of the largest gatherings of modern day pirates then Brixham is the place to head. Over the May Day bank holiday weekend the town will be brimming with swashbuckling activities. Expect skirmishes, historic reenactments and a visit by mermaids. Brixham Pirate Festival is free to attend but please give generously to any donation buckets you see around town to help this unique event continue in the future.
Find out more about Brixham Pirate Festival on the website.
Brixfest, Brixham – 25 – 29 May, 2019
This celebration of sea, food and music takes place over the Spring Bank Holiday weekend. There will be a dragon boat challenge, cooking demonstrations and fireworks. Families will also love the Children’s Day with lots of children’s activities planned.
Find out more about the event programme on the festival website.
Prawle Fair 2019 – 26 May 2019
Prawle Fair is a fabulous family event with live music, traditional rides and stalls from swingboats to greasy pole, and lots of refreshments available. There is a fancy dress competition for children plus bouncy castle, face painting and a human fruit machine. The fair takes place from 2pm on The Green, East Prawle, near Kingsbridge. Entry is free and car parking costs £2 per car.
Full details are available on the Prawle Fair website.
Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival, Kingsbridge – 31 May – 2 June, 2019
Kingsbridge will come alive with three days of top-notch music, local food and drink, and family fun. The dedicated Kids Zone behind the main stage offers young festival-goers the chance to learn bush craft, as well as take part in a fancy dress disco.
See the full programme of festival activities on the Kingsbridge Food and Music Festival website.
Flavour Fest, Plymouth – 31 May – 2 June, 2019
Plymouth plays hosts some to some of the best food and drink events in the country including Flavour Fest. Every year more than 100 regional food and drink producers transform the city centre into a bustling continental-style market, with plenty of tempting treats to try and buy.
Find out more on the Flavour Fest website.
Teignmouth Folk Festival, Teignmouth – 21 – 23 June, 2019
This lively folk festival takes place across five venues in Teignmouth. Throughout the three-day festival there’s a heady mix of music performances and morris dancing performed by more than 20 clubs from across the country. Tickets are available for camping and night time concerts.
Check the festival website for announcements about acts, the event programme and to book tickets.
Glas-Denbury Festival, Denbury – 5-6 July, 2019
We experienced the Glas-Denbury Festival in 2018 and had a brilliant weekend. It brings together a family-friendly atmosphere with lots of kids activities and some great music from the South West. Throughout the days there’s storytelling, crafts, street performers and music by top regional acts who continue into the evening. Glas-Denbury is a friendly music and arts festival for all ages. You can get day or weekend camping tickets to this great family-friendly festival in rural Denbury.
For more information about weekend, day and camping tickets see the Glas-Denbury festival website.
Tunes in the Castle, Exeter – 3-4 August, 2019
Find out more about the festival on its website.
Sidmouth Folk Festival, Sidmouth – 2-9 August, 2019
Sidmouth will be wash with music, dance and workshops for all ages during this four-day event. The dedicated children’s folk festival is staged across three workshop venues with crafts, family-friendly shows and story times.
Find out more about the festival programme and children’s festival activities on the website.
Ocean City Blues ‘n Jazz Festival, Plymouth – 9 -11 August, 2019
The free Britain’s Ocean City Blues n Jazz Festival will follow The Rolex Fastnet race finish in Plymouth in August. The event will take place in the Barbican area, rounding off a week of sailing celebrations.
More details will be available on the Visit Plymouth website as the event approaches.
Seafood Festival Plymouth – 14 – 15 September, 2019
Plymouth Seafood Festival is a two day celebration of the city’s enduring relationship with the sea and its traditional fishing industry, as well as its growing reputation as a food lover’s haven. There will be plenty of local seafood and local celebrity chefs teaching you how to create mouth-watering dishes using catch fresh off the boats.
Find out more about the Seafood Festival.
Abbfest, Newton Abbot – 21-23 September, 2019
The best of Newton Abbot’s food, drink and craft traders will showcase their wares alongside a weekend of music and cookery demonstrations. Families will get the most out of the Saturday when there is a day of children’s activities.
For the full festival line-up and ticket information visit the Flavour Fest website.
Sports events in Devon 2019
Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon, Plymouth – 19 May, 2019
Britain’s Ocean City Half Marathon offers a challenging and scenic 13.1 mile course taking in Plymouth’s famous landmarks.
For full details and to book your spot visit the Run Plymouth website.
Fastnet Race Finish – 6 – 8 August, 2019
Plymouth will host the finish of the 2019 Rolex Fastnet race. The first yachts are expected to arrive in Plymouth in the early hours of Monday 5 August. The Plymouth race village will be located at Yacht Haven at Mount Batten and will be open to the public from Tuesday 6 to Thursday 8 August, with live music, family friendly activities and opportunities for local people to try their hand at on-water activities like sailing, kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding.
Find out more about the Rolex Fastnet race and finishing events.
Family fun in Devon 2019
Pirates Weekend, Plymouth – 11 – 12 May, 2019
Plymouth’s waterfront offers swashbuckling family fun during this award-winning event. Have an adventure-filled day out with pirates, shanty bands, and children’s activities around The Barbican, Quay Square & Sutton Harbour.
Find out more about what’s planned for Pirates Weekend.
Greenway Literary Festival and Children’s Book Week – 25 May – 9 June, 2019
What better place to celebrate books and a love of ready than at the South Devon holiday home of Agatha Christie?! The Greenway Literary Festival comprises of two parts: Children’s Book Week to coincide with May half term (25 – 31 May), and Literature week from 1 to 9 June. During Children’s Week there will be storytelling, workshops and games for young bookworms to enjoy, followed by a programme of talks and workshops by award winning authors in Literature Week.
Find out more on the Greenway National Trust website.
Elmer’s Big Parade in Plymouth – 8 July to 13 September 2019
Fans of Elmer the Elephant better not miss this fantastic art trail in aid of St Luke’s Hospice in Plymouth. Find 40 individually designed Elmers dotted around the seafront city.
Find out more about Elmer’s Big Parade in Plymouth.
Plymouth Firework Championships, Plymouth – 14-15 August 2019
The Championships are a spectacle not to be missed and take place overlooking Plymouth Harbour and Sound for extra sea view drama. This is the premier firework display in the country, attracting tens of thousands of people each year. As well as the pyrotechnics there is a fun fair and live music on The Hoe, which is the prime viewing point. Get there early to secure the best spot each evening.
For the latest event news and information see the Flavour Fest website.
Elmer’s Big Parade, Plymouth – 8 July – 15 September, 2019
For 10 weeks, a parade of 40 fabulously colourful and unique elephants will take you on a trail around Plymouth and surrounding areas. St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth is working in partnership with Wild in Art and Andersen Press to bring this mass participation, family friendly, art trail to life; featuring the much beloved children’s character of Elmer, by Devon born artist and author David McKee.
Find out more about Elmer’s Big Parade in Plymouth.
Country shows in Devon 2019
Devon County Show, West Point, Exeter – 16 – 18 May, 2019
This is Devon’s largest agricultural show with a full programme of activities and entertainment throughout the weekend. Marvel at monster trucks, sample local ales, and cheer on sheep dog displays. Families with young children will enjoy the petting farm, fairground and countryside activities, like making bees wax candles.
To check out the full weekend programme on the County Show website.
Mid-Devon Show, Knightshayes, Tiverton – 27 July 2019
This show is now in its 24th year and offers an award-winning combination of ringside entertainment, countryside history and livestock competitions. There’s also plenty of local traders selling Devon delicacies, crafts and gifts in the grounds of this beautiful National Trust estate. Parking is free and dogs are welcome on a lead.
All the latest event information is available on the show website.
Totnes & District Show, Totnes – 28 July 2019
The Totnes & District Show is nearly 100-years-old. Popular features of the event are seeing the livestock in the main ring, the lamb sheering competition, horse events and live music.
For all the latest show information see the Totnes Show website.
Yealmpton Agricultural Show, Yealmpton – 31 July 2019
See vintage tractors, a motorcycle display team and the live stock parade. There’s also a countryside marquee where you can get up close with farm animals. Don’t miss the parade of hounds!
For more information about the show, tickets and parking see the Show website.
Honiton Show, Honiton – 1 August 2019
Head to this traditional farming show to see one of the county’s largest one-day celebrations of agriculture. Honiton offers a fantastic showcase of local farming, produce and rural skills that will entertain the whole family.
For the latest updates and event programme see the Honiton Show website.
North Devon Show, Umberleigh – 7 August 2019
This show is a celebration of North Devon’s agricultural roots with plenty of opportunity to see the region’s finest livestock in the arena. There’s also arena shows, vintage vehicles, family activities and trade stalls.
For full details about what will be happening at the show see the website.
Kingsbridge Agricultural Show, Kingsbridge – 7 September 2019
2019 marks the show’s 137th anniversary. Each year it offers a great family day out with livestock and countryside competitions, donkey rides, vintage vehicles and live music. There’s also a packed programme of arena entertainment.
See all the show details, ticket prices and what’s on by visiting the website.
Regattas in Devon 2019
Clovelly Maritime & Lifeboat Weekend, Clovelly – 3 – 4 August, 2019
This year spectators will see the village’s second Clovelly Cup Race as well as other waterborne competitions. Back on land there will be lots of family entertainment including building your own model boat, arts and crafts, story-telling, and Punch & Judy.
See what else is happening during the maritime festival on the the Clovelly website.
Salcombe Town Regatta, Salcombe – 3 – 10 August, 2019
Dozens of craft will take take part in sailing competitions during this week long event. Alongside the regatta locals and visitors will be able to try their hands at sandcastle building, crab catching and climbing the greasy pole (!).
For updates about this year’s event as they become available see the Salcombe Information website.
Sidmouth Regatta, Sidmouth – 24 – 25 August, 2019
The water will come alive with races during this two-day event, with fireworks and live music back on land Saturday evening. On Sunday there will be plenty of family activities including a drawing competition and fancy dress contest.
For more information about the regatta at Sidmouth see the Sidmouth Regatta website.
Dartmouth Royal Regatta, Dartmouth – 29 – 31 August, 2019
Devon’s royal regatta hosts sports, sailing and family events throughout the three days, plus a ball and live music festival. You can also see a Royal Navy ship moored on the River Dart throughout the festivities. Families will love the children’s fancy dress competition, scavenger hunt and a shopping village showcasing local companies.
To see the full regatta programme visit the Dartmouth Royal Regatta website.
Torbay Royal Regatta, Torquay – 23 – 26 September, 2019
Rowing and sailing races straddle the main regatta competition during this week-long sailing event between Torquay and Paignton. There’s also fireworks and a funfair to complement the action on the water.
For more information see the Regatta website.
Airshows in Devon
Torbay Airshow, Torbay – 1 – 2 June, 2019
This free two-day airshow takes place in the natural amphitheatre provided by Torbay. The RAF Red Arrows will make their 2017 debut at the show. They will be joined during the weekend by a Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, a Typhoon Jet, and the Tigers Freefall Parachute Display Team. As well as plenty of action in the skies there’s stalls, entertainment and children’s activities on Paignton Green.
For the complete air display line up see the Torbay Airshow website.
Christmas in Devon
Ho ho how about festive events? Christmas in Devon is a real treat. Check out my Devon Christmas round up of the top places to meet Santa, see Devon Christmas lights and illuminations, and soak up some Xmas cheer! The most up-to-date dates and events will be added as they are announced.
What family-friendly Devon events have I missed? Share your recommendations in the comments below. You might also like to check out my top tips for family attractions in Devon.
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