Sun, sea and suspicious minds: why you have to visit Bridgend this summer

July 16, 2019

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Lifeboats at Porthcawl Sea Front

Following the hugely successful debut of the Healthspan Porthcawl 10K at the weekend where more than 3,000 runners and supporters enjoyed picture perfect conditions, we are firmly in summer mode! Boasting some of Wales' best beaches, countryside and community spirit, visitors can enjoy lively carnivals, exhilarating watersports and unique events all summer long. Here are five events you have check out in Bridgend this summer.

Porthcawl Carnival, 20th July

Embark on a 'year of discovery', the theme of this years Porthcawl Carnival. This annual day of seaside celebration brings visitors and residents together with a vast array of colourful floats for the parade that winds through the town centre. In previous years we have seen lobsters, pirates, surfers and even Arabian belly dancers take over the streets of Porthcawl. Those lining the streets can show their appreciation for the Porthcawl emergency services, who will be leading the parade. In addition to the parade, at the carnival field there is free entertainment for all, including live music, and plenty of activities to keep the kids busy. Be sure to explore the quirky travelling fair with food, drink and gift stalls. Saturday 20th July at Porthcawl town centre, 2pm. free to attend.

The Pirates of Porthcawl, 27th July

Get ready to walk the plank as Porthcawl is taken over by pirates! Head down to 'Pirates Village' on the Promenade where promising young pirates can climb aboard the ship and receive a treasure map and their very own pirate goodie bag. Follow the map to find pieces of silver, crack the secret code and win a prize. There will also be a swashbuckling parade, live music all day, nautical-themed face painting, a puppet show and a guest appearance from none other than Captain Jack Sparrow himself. After a long day of exploring the high seas, try some of the delicious street food on offer around the harbour. Saturday 27th July, 10am - 5pm. Register online for free:

AquaX UK Championships, 27th July - 28th July

The P1 AquaX UK championships will conclude in Porthcawl for the second consecutive year this summer. The world's fastest growing jetski competition will take place in Newton Bay, offering perfect views across the course from the beach. Free to attend, spectators will have plenty of action to keep them occupied, with 12 races taking place over two days. A mixture of sprint and enduro races will test the riders skill, speed and stamina to the absolute limit, with one individual being crowned the UK champion. Located next to the Merthyr Mawr Sand Dunes and a ten minute walk from the picturesque town of Newton, Newton Bay is an idyllic backdrop to what is sure to be one of Wales' most high octane events of the summer. Saturday 27th July - Sunday 28th July. Race times TBA.

Porthcawl RNLI's RescueFest 2019, 28th July

Join the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Porthcawl this summer for #RescueFest2019. The free, family friendly open day and rescue demonstration event is now in its second year and packed with exhilarating demonstrations and displays by the RNLI, emergency services and other organisations. In addition, visitors can join the everyday heroes for RIB blast boat rides, craft stalls, face painting, newfoundland dog displays, live music and more. RescueFest is organised by the busiest RNLI lifeboat station in Wales, Porthcawl RNLI, and funds raised during the day go towards helping save lives at sea. Saturday 28th July, 11am-5pm, Free entry.

Folk music, bushcraft and blue suede shoes: other events to keep your eye on

Between The Trees festival is a unique music, natural science and art festival set in a 100-acre woodland site amongst the lush greenery of Merthyr Mawr National Nature Reserve. Listen to amazing folk and acoustic music or get creative with bushcraft and land art workshops and learn about the local flora and fauna. Join the fun from 30th August - 1st September. For those looking for something even more quirky, check out the Porthcawl Elvis Festival, Europe's largest celebration of The King. Last year over 35,000 fans descended on the town where hundreds of events take place includingThe Elvies, the Oscar's of the Elvis world, which encourage the best Elvis impersonators to show off their talent. Saturday 27th - 28th September.

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