From festivals and tennis tournaments to marathons and markets, a packed schedule of events taking place in Eastbourne this year has been unveiled.

The busy calendar also sees the return of Eastbourne International Airshow, the Rothesay International Eastbourne tennis, beer festivals, Soapbox racing and the Sunshine Carnival.

The line up guarantees something for everyone and keeps Eastbourne on the top of the must-see places to visit.

Eastbourne Borough Council’s Lead Member for Tourism & Culture Councillor Margaret Bannister said, “There is so much happening across Eastbourne in 2023. Our packed programme looks to provide something for everyone.

“We can’t wait to showcase Eastbourne to visitors and residents alike, making it a year full of entertainment and events.”

The action kicks off at the start of 2023 with the popular free Stargazing Nights on Saturday 28 January. Held throughout the year outside The Beachy Head Story, the stargazing events give sky-watchers the opportunity to view the night sky with the help of Eastbourne Astronomical Society members and their telescopes.

25 February sees another stargazing event and March will host the Eastbourne Half Marathon – on Sunday 5 March – and the ultra-off-road running event Coastal Trail Running on Saturday 18 March.

The Big Wheel returns to the Western Lawns in April through to early September, and the popular Seafront Market – opposite the Carpet Gardens – is back from 7-10 April and again 28 April – 1 May. From freshly baked breads and paella to handbags and garden furniture, the regular markets have something for everyone, as the seafront is turned into a bustling market with traders from across the UK and beyond.

Further markets will take place on the promenade in May, June, July, and August.

Magnificent Motors, the free motoring spectacular, returns to the Western Lawns on 29 – 30 April over the Bank Holiday weekend and is followed by the Spring Water Festival from 13 – 21 May.  Eastbourne Sunshine Carnival celebrates this year’s theme of ‘Sussex by the Sea’ on Saturday 27 May and the Race for Life returns on Sunday 28 May.

Festival fans will be delighted to hear the popular Beer and Cider by the Sea festival is again taking place on the Western Lawns from 19-21 May, celebrating more than 100 fine ales, craft beer and cask ciders.

May’s line up also includes John Searle’s Fun Fair at Princes Park from 25 May – 4 June and the UK Ultra 50km/100km on Saturday and Sunday 27 and 28 May.

The annual 999 Emergency Services Display is on Saturday 3 – Sunday 4 June when visitors can have a close look at emergency response vehicles, get on board a fire engine or ambulance, try out the hoses, see Police dog arena demonstrations and a sea rescue from the Coastguard during the two-day free celebration of the Blue Light services.

The MacMillan Mighty Hike and Eastbourne Triathlon are taking place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 10 and 11 June, with the Triathlon acting as a GB Team Qualifier event.  The Eastbourne 10k provides a shorter distance race on Sunday 25 June.     

The highlight of June is of course the Rothesay International Eastbourne at the award-winning grass courts of Devonshire Park.

Taking place from June 24 – 1 July, some of the world’s biggest names in tennis will grace the courts with top players from the WTA and ATP women’s and men’s tours competing for the title.

The fun continues in June with John Davis’ Fun Fair in Princes Park from 25 June–9 July.

The 26-mile CRUK The Big Hike will be held on Sunday 1 July followed by the Eastbourne Ironbourne, a long distance triathlon on Sunday 9 July.

Beach Life Music & Food Festival returns to Princes Park on Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 July with the perfect soundtrack for the summer at this free festival.

Outdoor Shakespeare returns to the Italian Gardens at Holywell with EODS’ A Winter’s Tale from 27 July–6 August followed by the Rude Mechanical Theatre from 9 – 13 August in Helen Garden with their performance of ‘Miss Popplewell’s Garden’.

The tennis action continues with the LTA Summer Cup from 23-28 July and GB Over 35s Inter-County Cup on 4 – 7 and 10 – 13 August at Devonshire Park. The popular competition gives men and women around Britain the opportunity to represent their county in a one-off, free to watch, summer tennis event. Devonshire Park will also host the international British Open Masters Grass Court Championships from 22-27 August.

The Circus brings amazing high-wire trapeze acts and more to Princes Park from 10 – 13 August, and it’s all eyes to the skies as the award-winning free airshow Airbourne returns from 17-20 August for its 29th year of aerobatic feats. Hundreds of thousands of visitors are set to enjoy the show, which features spectacular flying displays along a two-mile display line along Eastbourne’s iconic seafront, plus live evening entertainment, military ground displays, fireworks and much more.

The August Bank Holiday will see the return of Eastbourne Feastival from 26 – 28 August in Hampden Park for three days of fun, food, and music.  The first weekend of September – Sunday 3 September – the Western Lawns will host the MG South Downs Run, a display of the classic MG vehicles in its 33rd year featuring around 200 cars driven from Arundel.

September’s events include the return of the Eastbourne Walking Festival from 15 – 24 September, a 10-day long celebration of guided and self-guided walks for walkers of all abilities to reconnect with the great outdoors, while the Tempo 10k brings runners to the promenade on Sunday 24 September.

Also on 24 September, the Eastbourne Soapbox Race is back with more wacky races mayhem, as elaborate soapbox creations hurtle downhill dodging haybales, jumping ramps and more.

Beer lovers and revellers will be raising a glass at the Eastbourne Beer Festival in the historic Winter Garden from 5-7 October. With more than 100 cask ales, craft beer, ciders and perries, specially selected by the local CAMRA team, live music and dancing, a great time is guaranteed at this autumn festival.

Bonfire fun comes to town in October when societies across Sussex join forces with torches aloft for the Eastbourne Bonfire Procession. The procession weaves along the seafront on Saturday 7 October with drummers, pirates, and fire dancers, culminating in a bonfire and firework finale from the beach.

The Winter Garden once again hosts Wyntercon on Saturday and Sunday 14 and 15 October when all things fantasy, science fiction, pop culture, creativity and the weird and wonderful come together.

One of the most challenging and scenic routes in the country is one of the reasons so many runners and walkers line up for the Beachy Head Marathon, ULTRA, Half and 10K across the South Downs National Park on Saturday and Sunday 21 and 22 October.

The town will gather in November for the annual Remembrance Sunday Service on 12 November at the Memorial Roundabout and from the end of the month, Eastbourne gets set to sparkle in the run up to the festive celebrations with shopping events, markets and more, while the highly acclaimed Eastbourne pantomime Beauty & The Beast takes to the stage in the historic setting of the Devonshire Park Theatre from 8 December to 14 January.

For more information on all events visit www.VisitEastbourne.com/whats-on