Plymouth Marine City Festival starts with a splash
A COLOURFUL and musical procession made its way through the Barbican on Saturday to mark the opening of the Marine City Festival.
Fresh fish and seafood was being cooked by chefs on the quayside. Boat trips were going out and visitors had the opportunity to learn more about our marine heritage and culture.
The festival was launched by a number of partners on Friday and the aim of the programme is to make people more aware of the maritime world sitting on our doorstep.
Audrey Kendall, from Honicknowle, was at the festival. She said: "We've just come down to see what's going on. It's really good for Plymouth and it's nice to see the effort the children have gone to – at least it's been good weather for them."
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Lord Mayor Councillor Mike Wright,officially opened the festival by the Mayflower Steps in front of a crowd that included three Olympic gold medallists; Etienne Stott, Andrew Triggs-Hodge and Tim Baillie.
Cllr Wright said: "It's wonderful to see so many kids out in colourful costumes and so many people taking part in the blue mile.
"This event means a great deal to the city and I hope it will be a recurring one until 2020 when we mark the anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower."
The festivities began early on Saturday morning with most traders having set up on Friday.
The procession was led by a Samba band followed by dozens of youngsters dressed in marine-themed costumes with a giant fish being paraded through the centre.
Rose Marsh, from Eggbuckland, was watching the procession with her mother Kathleen Starr.
She said: "It's always great to see what the children have been doing. It's very entertaining and it's lovely to see everyone out enjoying themselves and the weather is nice."
The Marine City Festival is continuing in venues across the city including Royal William Yard, Sutton Harbour and the City Centre for the next six days.
Paul Cox, head of science and learning at the National Marine Aquarium, said: "It seems to be going quite well; it's built up from 8am when there was only a few people but now there's a good crowd and lots of people watching the swimming.
"I think today the festival will be grabbing people's attention and over the next few days – like the Olympics – more people will get involved."