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Eastbourne Offers an Action Packed 2004
The south coast resort of Eastbourne is looking forward to a busy year ahead, promising over 300 events and shows, with a range of competitive live tennis, skating, magnificent motors and fast jets.
The south coast resort of Eastbourne is looking forward to a busy year ahead, promising over 300 events and shows, with a range of competitive live tennis, skating, magnificent motors and fast jets.

Live Tennis
With 20,000 tennis balls on order, visitors can expect an action packed tennis season starting with the Hastings Direct International Championships from 12 – 19 June. Last year the line up included 7 out of the World’s top ten ranked women, including Lindsey Davenport and Jennifer Capriati, who provided top tennis for the thousands of fans in Devonshire Park’s Centre Court stadium. Centre Court ticket prices start at £14 and can be booked on 01323 412000.

Devonshire Park also offers five other tennis tournaments, all FREE to spectators. Tennis fans can watch rising British stars as top county players from around the UK battle it out in the County Cup from 19 – 23 July, past competitors such as Jeremy Bates have gone on to play for Great Britain. Families also get the chance to play at the Family Festival of Tennis from 2 – 7 August, giving youngsters the opportunity to play at an early age and also pair up with parents in the Parent/Child doubles.

More top county players battle it out in the 35 and over age categories in the Women’s 35 VLTA Inter-County Championships from 30 July – 1 August and Men’s 35 VLTA Inter-County Championships 20 – 22 August. Keen tennis players can also enter the over 35’s tournament the South of England Championships from 23 – 28 August, now a Category 2 event on the ITF Veterans tour.

Transport enthusiasts can also look forward to the motoring season with a range of FREE events on the seafront and Western Lawns starting with Magnificent Motors from 2 – 3 May. Over 400 classic cars are expected, along with vintage buses, motorcycles and steam traction engines, accompanied by live bands and evening fireworks.
The Eastbourne Lions Classic Charity Run for Vintage Motorcycles follows on 6 June featuring bikes from pre-1920’s to present day superbikes. Those who feel the need for speed can visit the Formula One of motorcycling at Eastbourne Speedway, which also hosts this years Speedway World Cup on 2 - 3 August. Home team, Eastbourne Eagles, is also the home of the current World Champion, Danish rider Nicki Pederson. As well as motorcycling, the stadium also holds regular Hot Rods, Stock Cars and Banger racing nights.

The season ends with the MG South Downs Run on 12 September which follows a 100 mile route through the South Downs from Petersfield ending in Eastbourne where all cars display on the seafront along with 1940’s big band music.

Alternatively don your own set of wheels and join the locals’ favourite pastime of roller blading along the resort’s five miles of palm tree lined promenade. Skating is so popular that the resort pays homage to it’s favourite activity by hosting the UK’s biggest FREE Skate festival from 24 – 25 July on the resort’s Eastern Seafront.

Watch expert skaters from around Europe and the USA showcase their talents in speed, artistic, hockey and extreme skating. All skaters can join in freestyle sessions, try out the extreme ramps in the purpose built skate park or join the Saturday Night Skate around the town, based on the popular night skates in Paris and London’s Hyde Park. For beginners, skate hire and tuition is available, along with a weekly skate evening at the Bandstand.

Wing It
Join the jet-set at Airbourne: Eastbourne International Airshow from 12 – 15 August on Eastbourne seafront. One of the biggest free airshows in the UK, with over 80 flying displays including military fast jets, displays from Europe’s top aerobatic display pilots, freefall parachutists, WWII aircraft and the RAF Red Arrows. It’s all FREE and also includes vintage vehicle cavalcades and Wings and Wheels exhibition from csma, RAF ground displays, children’s entertainment beaches, helicopter rides, simulators, military bands and ends with a sunset ceremony and fantastic fireworks display from Eastbourne Pier.

At the Eastbourne Beer Festival from 7 - 9 October, drinkers can try over 80 real ales and ciders from the Slurping Stoat to the Furstey Ferret at this Oktoberfest style event, or drink around the world with the many international beers on offer from Argentina to Mongolia. With music, dancing, traditional pub games and children’s entertainment there’s fun for all of the family. The event is due to get even bigger after tickets sold out last year, to receive ticket information contact 01323 412000.

Take up the Challenge
For the ultimate challenge, enter the Beachy Head Marathon on 23 October. Over 1,300 runners, joggers and walkers regularly gather in Eastbourne at the foot of the South Downs for this event and complete the 26 miles of hilly terrain. The course takes in beautiful chalk coastline, countryside and traditional Sussex villages along the way, which makes this event such a favourite with long distance runners both across the country and from overseas.

Culture Vultures
With five theatres on offer, visitors can also look forward to a packed programme of theatre shows too, including West End favourites Tell Me On a Sunday from 10 – 15 May and the UK premiere of the Broadway smash hit Jekyll & Hyde from 24 August - 4 September.

The Towner Art Gallery housed in an 18th Century Manor House also has a busy diary of international contemporary art exhibitions including contemporary sculpture and film from artists such as Mark Wallinger and Rachel Whiteread from 22 May – 4 July. The season ends with their final exhibition of the year on 5 November, which will see 6 artists invited to play with the exhibition space and peel back the layers of 80 years as a gallery!

Make a Splash
For fun on the water visit Sovereign Harbour during their FREE Fun Weekend from 1 – 3 May or Dragon Boat Racing on 18 July. The £50 million largest composite marina in the UK, also includes the Waterfront complex of shops, restaurants, bars and cafés. New for 2004 is a £2 million Westbury Homes aquabatics water feature in the south harbour, the largest of it’s kind in the UK, with 150 fountains which create breathtaking displays during the day, and at night an underwater lighting system provides colourful illuminations.

Family Fun
Eastbourne Miniature Steam Railway provide lots of family events including a tribute to Thomas the Tank Engine author Christopher Awdry from 1 – 3 May and Family Fun Weekend from 17 – 18 July.

For something different have a go at Shuffleboard, once a popular activity on ocean liners. The England Shuffleboard Inaugural Event from 10 – 12 September at the Devonshire Park Centre is FREE for all ages to have a go at this traditional game.

More family events include:
28 May – 5 June, Funfair, Princes Park
12 June, Eastbourne Rotary Funday, Western Lawns
26 – 27 July, Lark in the Park, Princes Park, FREE
10 – 11 July, Eastbourne Motor Show, Park College Grounds
7 Aug, Lammas Festival, Wish Tower Slopes, FREE
31 July – 1 Aug, 999 Emergency Services Display,Western Lawns, FREE
3 – 8 Aug, Chinese State Circus, Princes Park
22 Aug, Eastbourne Maritime Sunday, Wish Tower Beaches, FREE
27 Aug – 4 Sept, Funfair, Princes Park
29 Aug, It’s a Knockout, Western Lawns, FREE
2 – 10 Oct, Victorian Festival, Various Venues
December, Christmas Cracker, Town Centre, FREE

From June to September, visitors can also look forward to more music events than ever before at Eastbourne’s Bandstand and Redoubt Fortress. The musical programme includes 1812 Classical Fireworks concerts twice weekly, Big Band nights every Thursday and Last Night of the Proms each Sunday, plus military bands, regular rock n roll nights on Saturday, Gilbert & Sullivan concerts and Jazz & Blues afternoons.

For more information on Eastbourne and the 2004 events season visit or telephone 01323 411400 for a new Holiday Guide and free Accommodation Booking Service.
27 April, 2004

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