5 must-visit Kent festivals

With its lively festival scene, Kent is a great place to discover local music, performances, food, drink and more. Throughout the year – and particularly over the summer months – towns and villages across the county celebrate home grown produce and local talent. Many of our favourite festivals are within an hour’s drive from Rankins Farm.

Whitstable Oyster Festival (July)

The Whitstable Oyster Festival has been running for over 30 years and takes place over three days at Tankerton Slopes. Highlights include the Landing of the Oysters, a traditional ceremony to bless the first catch of the season, the seafront procession and the Grotters, an event where grotters are built from oyster shells and lit by candles as night draws in. Other activities include pottery, kite flying and a treasure hunt, and there are, of course, plenty of oysters to eat too.

Vicar’s Picnic, Yalding (July)

A day of music from both local and international bands, the Vicar’s Picnic is a fun, family festival that takes place over two days in July. More than simply a commercial festival, it supports local charities and businesses. Past headliners have included Reef and the Fratellis, and the Kids Field is popular with both adults and children, with activities such as face painting, a science workshop and hula hooping classes taking place in a secure environment.

Artisan Cider Festival (August)

A festival not only for cider drinkers, but also music lovers, the Brogdale Artisan Cider Festival takes place during August bank holiday weekend. Visitors can sample over 60 locally produced ciders and beers, tuck into artisan food and watch live bands on three separate stages. Games, activities and crafts are also organised for younger attendees, and a free shuttle bus service from Faversham station is supplied for all festival goers.

Ramblin’ Man Fair (July)

Hosted at Mote Park in Maidstone, Ramblin’ Man Fair is a relatively new festival showcasing rock, blues, prog and more. Attracting a massive following from its inception, it brings acts from past and present to Kent, including ZZ Top, Joanne Shaw Taylor and Black Stone Cherry. There’s a friendly atmosphere and children under 12 can be taken free of charge by an accompanying adult.

Salute to the ‘40s (September)

This 40s themed festival at the Historic Dockyard, Chatham, takes place over two days and encourages its visitors to dress up to look the part. There are wartime displays, a parade of military and civilian cars and trucks, and performances from specialist vintage acts. Traditional English food such as fish and chips, Ploughman’s lunches and cream teas are served and there are even some vintage fashion and accessory traders to buy items from.

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