Major annual events held in Whitby
Please note: Events and activities will potentially be subject to change due to the ongoing pandemic.
Key Whitby events in 2021
North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales Dark Skies Fringe Festival 22-31 October 2021
Dark Skies festivals are all about discovering, learning and enjoying the dark and the stars you can see as a result. National Parks remain some of the darkest places in Great Britain and they celebrate our star-studded skies at Festivals throughout autumn and winter.
*Provisional Dates* 29 – 31 OCT 2021 – 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 is a wide selection of food stalls serving up tasty delicacies throughout the day.
More information: www.whitbygothweekend.co.uk
*Postponed* Dates in 2022 TBC – 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 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.
Virtual Fish & Ships 15th-16th May 2021 – 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 throughout the town. Well, this annual festival celebrates the nation’s beloved fast-food dish, along with Whitby’s seafaring history.
This year the festival will be a virtual event that will involve new videos which have been recorded especially for this year's event. These will include video workshops, museum tours, behind the scenes tours of places, like the Captain Cook Museum, Pannett Art Gallery, Whitby Museum, Quayside Fish & Chips, Whitby Harbour, and Whitby Library.
Sat 31 Jul – Sun 01 Aug 2021 – 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.
*Cancelled* Sunday 26th June 2022 TBC – 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.
11th, 12th, 13th June 2021 – 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.
*Postponed* All tickets from 2020 and 2021 dates remain valid for 2022 – 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.
2nd-5th July 2021 – 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.
Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th July 2021
Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd October 2021 – 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.
23rd – 25th July 2021 – 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.
21st and 22nd August 2021 – 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.
6th, 7th, and 8th August 2021 – 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.
6th August 2021 – 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.
21st, 22nd and 23rd August 2021 – 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.
*Postponed* 20th-26th August 2022 – 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.
25th August 2021 – 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.
*2020 Tickets remain valid for the 2021 Weekender now a 3 day event* Friday, 10th September 2021 – Whitby Motown Weekender
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.
9th October 2021 – 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.
3rd, 4th and 5th December 2021 – 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.
Dates 4th December 2021 TBC – 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.