Please note: Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, many of this year's events are cancelled. Please check directly with the event organisers to see which events have already been cancelled.
Major annual events held in Whitby
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Key Whitby events in 2020
14 February – 1 March 2020 – Dark Skies Festival
This unique 17-day festival celebrates the incredible stargazing opportunities of the North York Moors National Park. During the winter months, this area boasts some of the best dark skies in the UK. Welcoming both adults and children, the festival is comprised of a range of activities and events including starlight runs, bike rides, night-time yoga classes, and mindfulness workshops. This jam-packed programme offers an exciting way to see the stars, whilst learning about the solar system from local guides and experts.
21 March 2020 – The Sixties Invasion Tour
Venue: Whitby Pavilion
Step back to the 1960s with non-stop musical hits performed by DOZY, BEAKY, MICK and TICH. As one of the most popular bands of their decade, you will enjoy nostalgic chart-toppers and sing along sensations. Get a group of friends together to reminisce and dance the night away. Joining the band are pop-rockers The Equals with hits such as ‘Baby Come Back’. The Casuals also join the tour with ‘Jesamine’, which reached number 2 in the UK in 1968. To book tickets for this exciting event, head to www.whitbypavilion.com or call 01947 458899.
24 – 26 April 2020 – Whitby Goth Weekend
Whether you see yourself as a ‘Goth’ or not, this family-friendly weekend promises heaps of fun. This popular local festival is filled with Gothic clothing, artwork, literature, and live music. Listen to local rock and heavy metal bands, as you browse through a fascinating collection of Gothic artefacts. Head to a beer tasting stall, or, visit the Bizzarre Bazaar Alternative Market for bookstalls, unique homeware, handcrafted jewellery, collectable items, and vintage clothing. When it comes to finding something to eat, there are a wide selection of food stalls serving up tasty delicacies throughout the day.
More information: www.whitbygothweekend.co.uk
30 April 2020 – Tour de Yorkshire
Line up along Whitby’s historic streets and cheer along the cyclists at the Tour de Yorkshire. Consisting of professional racers and fundraisers, this is a fantastic free event for all the family. Anyone can sign up to participate in the race, but it is certainly no easy feat. The longest route starts and ends in Leeds, spanning across 123.3 kilometres and ascending 1748 metres. This impressive course ventures through some of Yorkshire’s most popular towns and villages, creating a real community atmosphere across the region. You will be able to watch a good section of the race from Whitby, as the cyclists soar through its historic town centre.
16 & 17 May 2020 – Whitby Fish and Ships Festival
We all know that Whitby serves up tasty fish and chips with a selection of award-winning restaurants and eateries scattered through the town. Well, this annual festival celebrates the nation’s beloved fast-food dish, along with Whitby’s seafaring history. Learn new culinary skills at the Seafood Kitchen, with professional cooking demonstrations and Q&As. Join a tour of Parkol Shipyard and find out what it takes to build a boat. There are also a range of activities, performances, and events taking place throughout the town. This family-friendly event also showcases the town’s most popular delicacies, chefs, and fish dishes.
16 & 17 May 2020 – Yorkshire Game and Country Fayre
Venue: Scampston Hall
The Yorkshire Game and Country Fayre welcomes families to Scampston Hall; a large estate set amongst beautiful parkland. A lovely way to celebrate Spring, this beloved local festival embraces countryside living with locally sourced food, farm animals, traditional games, and longstanding championships. Local gardeners sell a range of products, while the popular tractor show tends to draw in the crowds. Preserving traditional country games and activities, visitors can try their hand at archery, clay pigeon shooting, and tractor pulling. There are also horse jumping competitions, ferret races, and an interesting reptile display. Families will also love the vintage funfair, complete with traditional rides, sweet treats, and games.
28 June 2020 – The Malton Show
Welcoming in the summer season, The Malton Show is all about local produce, arts, and crafts. It’s here that you will find a fantastic Farmer’s Market selling fresh fruit, vegetables, cheeses, preserves, and other local delicacies. Get up close and personal with the horses, learn all about the tractors, or, watch the annual Middleton Hunt Parade of the Hounds. The Malton show is another fantastic display of country living, with a wide selection of local vendors and tradespeople. There are also street food stalls, live entertainment, and traditional funfair rides.
5 – 7 June 2020 – Robin Hood’s Bay Folk Weekend
As one of Whitby’s first music festivals of the year, the Robin Hood’s Bay Folk Weekend offers a lively atmosphere for all ages. Expect local musicians, dancers, and singers, along with food stalls and refreshing beverages. Situated in the picturesque Robin Hood’s Bay area, this weekend is particularly popular with locals and visitors who have a passion for folk music. If you live here in Whitby, then it’s also a great chance to find out about the local groups and classes available in the area.
5 – 7 June 2020 – Whitby 60’s Music Weekend
A great choice for groups of friends, the Whitby 60s Music Weekend is a popular event held every year. Spanning across three days, you will enjoy five fabulous shows with popular acts from the 60s. This event is the perfect way to catch up with friends during the day and dance along to your favourite tunes at night.
3 – 6 July 2020 – Whitby Soul Weekender
For another weekend of non-stop music, the Whitby Soul Weekender ticks all the boxes. Going strong since 2002, this is one of North Yorkshire’s most popular soul events. Kick back to Motown, Northern Soul, and Modern Soul music throughout the night. There are a whole host of local, regional, and international artists throughout the day. Expect live DJs, plenty of bars, and a popular dancefloor arena.
18 – 19 July 2020 – Great Seaside Vintage Fair
Venue: Whitby Pavilion
Head to The Great Seaside Vintage Fair for unique artefacts, clothing, and homeware. Overlooking Whitby’s picturesque coastline, this extraordinary market offers all things vintage. Browse the stalls for furniture, books, fashion, toys, music records, and many more. Everyone is welcome to come and take a look. Entrance costs £2 for adults and is free for children under 16.
24 – 26 July 2020 – Whitby Steampunk Weekend
If you have an interest in steampunk memorabilia, then you will simply love this event. Set within the beautiful Whitby Pavilion, the Whitby Steampunk Weekend is brimming with unique seminars, vendors, activities, and presentations. Often regarded as one of the biggest steampunk festivals in the UK, this event is free to enter and suitable for all ages. It’s also a great option for families looking for something a little different. Visitors are invited to dress up in their finest steampunk attire and join in on the fun. Expect lots of innovative and exciting costumes, along with a wide range of diverse activities.
31 July – 1 August 2020 – Staithes Lifeboat Weekend
Located in the nearby town of Staithes, this Lifeboat Weekend introduces the public to the area’s fantastic lifeboat service. Meet the team and take a look inside the boats. This event is open to families and is a great way to teach the kids about water safety. This is a fundraising event with all proceeds going to the local lifeboat services. Expect live music performances, competitions, and games.
31 Jul – 2 Aug 2020 – Whitby Traction Engine Rally
This popular event takes place just a 15-minute walk from the town centre, nestled amongst beautiful Abbey ruins. The Whitby Traction Engine Rally boasts a spectacular live stunt show with everything from wheelies to precision driving. Expect dancers, musicians, and entertainers, as well as a wonderful firework display on Saturday evening. This traditional steam fair is a great choice for families. You will enjoy a range of activities and events including tractor pulling, classic cars, arts and crafts, and a funfair. There are also lots of tasty food stalls, offering a little something for everyone.
9 August 2020 – Hinderwell Horse & Agricultural Show
Those with a love for horses should be sure to visit the Hinderwell Horse & Agricultural Show this August. Celebrating its 151st year, this is a well-loved show amongst locals and visitors alike. It originally began to resolve a dispute between two men, over who owned the best foal. It has since grown into an annual family-friendly event. This event provides a platform for the area’s finest horses and ponies, with jumping contests and gymkhana. There is also a popular dog show alongside a display of sheep and ferrets. Other activities include live music, talent shows, vintage machinery, and a market of local produce, plants, and preserves.
15 – 17 August 2020 – Whitby Regatta
Taking over Whitby’s waters every year, this regatta is a wonderful display of rowing boats and yachts. Watch the famous boat races from the shore and cheer the contestants along. Drawing large crowds year on year, the regatta is a popular event with a fantastic atmosphere. The race cultivates with a prize presentation followed by a spectacular firework display.
More information: www.whitbyregatta.co.uk
22 – 28 August 2020 – Whitby Folk Week
The Whitby Folk Week consists of a diverse programme of exciting events and activities. Take part in medieval dance workshops and learn how to play the banjo at this fun event for all ages. Drop off the children at the kid’s club where they will create a theatrical production that is performed at the end of the week. Experience some fascinating storytelling performances, or, bring your own instrument for the popular music sessions. There is also a fantastic line up of popular folk artists and dance troupes to enjoy throughout the entire week.
26 August 2020 – Egton Show
Another community agricultural show, the Egton Show brings together local farmers, tractor drivers, and horse owners. Sample tasty local produce, fruits, vegetables, butcher meat, preserves, and freshly baked cakes, at the farmer’s market. Meet horses, goats, sheep, ferrets, and cattle, or, learn all about the beekeeping process. There is also a fantastic horse show and a wrought iron farrier display. Egton is one of the largest village shows in the UK, with a variety of arts, crafts, local delicacies, and entertainment.
11 – 12 September 2020 – Whitby Motown Weekend
Venue: Whitby Pavilion
Dance along to classic Motown hits at this fun-filled festival. Step back to the 60s, 70s, and 80s, with a jam-packed weekend of bands and artists. The Edwin Starr Band headlines the event with songs like Happy Radio, War, Stop Her on Sight, Eye to Eye Contact, and Time. Johnny Boy Pryers also performs, along with special guests who are yet to be announced. There are three dancefloors to choose from, each with different music and atmospheres.
12 – 13 September 2020 – Staithes Art & Heritage Festival
One for the art enthusiasts, this unique festival celebrates the town’s local artwork and history. Pop by this charismatic village for locally made jewellery, paintings, ceramics, printmaking, and textiles. Over 100 artists head to the Staithes Art & Heritage Festival every year, to showcase their work across 60 different stalls. Residents transform their cottages into art galleries, while pop-up tea rooms take over surrounding cafes. There is also a fantastic programme of live entertainment including street buskers, concerts, workshops, guided walks, discussions, and film shows.
3 – 4 October – Great Seaside Vintage Fair
Venue: Whitby Pavilion
Consisting of over 50 stalls, the Great Seaside Vintage Fair is the go-to place for antiques, unique fashion trends, and homeware. Overlooking the sea, this lovely event is brimming with all things vintage. Choose from jewellery, toys, books, record players, and so much more. Everyone is welcome to come and take a look. Entrance costs £2 for adults and is free for children under 16.
12 October 2020 – Whitby Blues Festival
We’ve had soul and Motown, and now it’s time for some Blues music. Whitby sure knows how to put on a Blues festival with a brilliant line-up and great foodie options. Popular acts include The animals, the Kyla Brox Band, Mojo Preachers, The Cinelli Brothers, and the Henrik Freischlander Band. Dance the night away with friends as you listen to some of your favourite hits throughout the day. Early bird tickets start from £26 and are available from www.whitbybluesfestival.co.uk.
30 October – 1 November 2020 – Whitby Goth Weekend
The second Goth Weekend of the year, this family-friendly event promises unique activities and displays. This popular local festival is filled with Gothic clothing, artwork, literature, and live music. Enjoy performances by local bands with rock and heavy metal artists. Head to a beer tasting stall or visit the Bizzarre Bazaar Alternative Market for bookstalls, unique homeware, handcrafted jewellery, collectables, and vintage clothing. When it comes to finding food and drink, there are a selection of tasty street food options served throughout the day.
4 – 6 December 2020 – Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend
The Robin Hood’s Bay Victorian Weekend is an idyllic way to celebrate Christmas. The historic streets of Whitby come to life with traditional Christmas decorations, music, and fairy lights. Enjoy traditional Christmas carols along the charismatic cobbled stone streets as you explore this wonderful event. You will find a charming craft fair, and a whole range of fun Victorian games. The entire town takes part in this event, with shops, pubs, and cafes transforming into a typical Victorian village. Expect historic costumes, tasty sweet treats, and a beautiful lantern parade in the evening. This free event is perfect for adults and children of all ages. Find unique Christmas gifts from a wide selection of homemade cards, jewellery, homeware, toys, and tree decorations.
5 December 2020 – Whitby Annual Krampus Run
Another fun-filled event this Christmas is the annual Krampus Run. Taking place on the Eve of the Feast of St. Nicolas, this is a popular alternative Christmas event. This special day is believed to be the day when the Saint visited the homes of good children to hand them gifts, accompanied by the dark Christmas figure Krampus, who was there to punish the naughty children. A controversial character, this is a humorous event where people are invited to dress up in their best Krampus outfit and run through the streets. The event has only been running, quite literally, since 2015, but it has quickly risen in popularity amongst adults and children.