These summer months are precious; don’t let them pass you by without fully relishing in the season’s festivities. The Channel Islands don’t fall short when it comes to hosting fantastic events, with a variety to accommodate all ages, interests and pursuits.
From the traditional horticultural display of The North Show & Battle of the Flowers, to the hot contemporary music acts of Jersey Live, there is truly something for everyone.
These are only two of the many events the Channel Islands have to offer, so check out our blog to see Condor’s picks for Top 10 Unmissable Events This Summer. Don’t miss out; get out there and explore, experience, and enjoy!
Jersey International Air Show
When the summer is coming to a close, there’s even more excuse to venture out and cap it on a high. The show can be seen anywhere along St Aubin’s Bay on the South Coast of Jersey, with a series of free display centres are set up along its wide bow. The skies form the stage for a wide variety of displays, involving all types of flying machine, from those vintage to high-tech and modern aircraft. The stunt work of the Red arrows is featured, alongside the death defying wing-walking performed by the Aerosuperbatics. Perhaps the finest moment of the show however, is the Battle of Britain Memorial flight, when classic planes such as the Spitfire, Lancaster and Hurricane take to the skies, in honour of those RAF servicemen who fought to protect Britain.
The North Show-Guernsey
Much of Guernsey’s culture is rooted in its rural landscape, and the North Show is an annual culmination of the island’s thriving agriculture and horticulture. Islanders are given the opportunity to exhibit their entries into the competitive show, across a range of classes. Visitors can view the finest Guernsey has to offer in the way of livestock, agricultural produce, baking , and flower arranging, alongside traditional craftsmanship such as metal and wood work, and embroidery. The evening of the second day boasts the Battle of the Flowers, in which the event becomes flooded in colour, from the vibrant shades of the flowers decorating floats in the procession, followed by a stunning firework display to end the evening.
Whilst Jersey is often seen as a rural and tranquil destination, that’s not always the case. Hosted at the Royal Jersey Showground, Jersey Live is an exciting and dynamic festival attracting not only big crowds of the public, but top-flight musical acts. Headliners this year range from the contemporary house music of Disclosure, to beloved British icon Madness, who with 40 years of playing experience under their belts, are still a massive crowd pleaser. Aside from the main stage there is also the dance stage, featuring Shy Fx and Shadow child, and the hospitality tent, featuring pop musicians such as Mungo Jerry, the stylistic merging of acoustic folk and hip hop brought to the stage by X-factor contestant Lucy Spraggan, and many more.
Vale Earth Fair
Vale Earth fair is the Channel Islands’ longest running music festival, and this year celebrates its 40th anniversary. The event is not only a fantastic exhibition of musical prowess, but is an ethical event that year after year raises money for necessary causes. Headlining is the Asian Dub Foundation, whose unique sound combines hiphop, punk, rock, reggae and dancehall styles. There’s many other great acts including Land of the Giants and She Drew the Gun, just to name a few. The festival is complete with local and guest DJs at the Dance Zone, bars, stalls, a chillout tent, kids activities and more. Proceeds go to the three charities; Bridge to Haiti, Burma Campaign UK, and Free Tibet. Bridge to Haiti provides aid where it’s needed most to the Southern hemisphere’s poorest country. Burma Campaign UK and Free Tibet work to secure human rights, and free democratic elections in their respective countries.
Jersey Offshore Powerboat Festival
For powerboat enthusiasts this is a must. The weekend consists of a series of races, and social events, the organizers the Jersey Powerboat club emphasising the equal importance of spectators and competitors to make for a great atmosphere, and successful event. Anyone can enter the races, provided they’ve completed the 1 day training course. Competitors are then divided into various classes ranging from professional to amateur. Friday night is the festival opening meal, allowing everyone to meet and socialise with one another. To round off the weekend everyone is invited to attend a formal awards dinner. The festival is an all round great experience, with the extreme thrills and spills of the races, paired with an amiable ambience, from a colourful cohesion of attendees.
Throughout the summer, Sundays see St Peter’s Port cordoned off to traffic, transformed into a colourful miscellany of market stalls and kiosks. A variety of local produce, culinary delicacies, handmade clothing, jewellery and other goods are all available for purchase. On the 14th of August Sea Front Sundays are collaborating with the Taste Guernsey organisation, which will mean an even greater selection of gastronomic stalls and events will be set up, including cookery demonstrations, free tastings and traditional dishes available for a spot of delicious alfresco dining.
St Helier Seaside Festival
Evoking a Carnival atmosphere immediately prior to the Jersey Battle of Flowers, Jersey Seaside Festival provides a whole day of fun celebrating our affiliation with the sea and traditional seaside activities set around the Islands’ Victorian bathing pool; one of the few remaining natural sea water swimming pools left in Europe. Experience beach activities, live entertainment, music and local arts & crafts. A wonderful food fair augments the delightful restaurants and pubs in the area. Now in its 8th year, Jersey Seaside Festival has something for the whole family. Most town car-parks are free on Sunday then its a short walk to the festival which covers the whole of the Havre des Pas sea front area. Admission is free. Please note this event is glass free.
Motor Hill Racing Climb
This exciting event see’s competitors take on a half mile ascent at break neck speeds, in a series of time trials to determine the fastest racer. The course, at Val des Terres, is a challenging winding road, followed by straight allowing drivers to put their engines fully through their paces. The end of the course is a particularly thrilling S bend, which often sees drivers cross the finish line backwards. As far as refreshments go there are burger and ice cream vans at the site of the course, and St Peters’ port is only a 10 minute walk away, so there’s no shortage of conveniences. A fun, and exhilarating day out.
Battle of Flowers Parade
Enjoy the spectacle of flower festooned floats, musicians, dancers and entertainers providing a tremendous atmosphere in the Grand Day Parade. First staged in 1902 in celebration of a Royal Coronation the Jersey Battle of Flowers has since grown over the past century and more to become one of the largest floral carnivals in Europe and without doubt a major highlight in Jersey’s varied summer calendar of festivals and events. The Moonlight Parade forms a perfect and magical end to the festivities.
The South Show
The longest running of the three summer shows,The South Show provides an opportunity for Islanders to showcase their talents in agriculture, horticulture, baking, crafts and the arts. The show is a fantastic opportunity for family fun, and features such as the Decorated Hat Parade and Children’s Fancy Dress Competition will put a smile on your little ones’ faces. A new edition to the days’ enjoyment is the South Fun Dog Show, where competitors can enter in a number of classes to flaunt their canine companions.