Plymouth History Festival returns as part of Mayflower 400 commemorations

Dec 19, 2019

The dates have been confirmed for next year’s Plymouth History Festival, which runs from Friday, 8 May to Sunday, 31 May.

This popular annual celebration of the city’s heritage is being coordinated by The Box and supported by Plymouth City Council (PCC) and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Since the History Festival started in 2013, thousands of residents and visitors have taken part in hundreds of events, learning and discovering more about Plymouth’s history through talks, guided walks and tours, performances, family activities, exhibitions and displays.

Celebrating Plymouth is always the central theme, but in 2020 the programme will also connect with the city's Mayflower 400 commemorations.

The opening weekend will feature the 75th anniversary of VE Day, Pirates Weekend Plymouth and the start of historic yacht race, the OSTAR (Original Single-Handed Transatlantic Race).

Join in the 2020 Plymouth History Festival

Later in the month, people will be able to see the start of ‘The Imagination Museum: Mayflower 400’ – a series of inspiring performances that use movement, text and music to explore the Mayflower’s historic journey.

Local organisations, societies and individuals can now submit their entries for the programme – especially for events that will take place from Monday, 11 May onwards.

To submit an event, you need to request, complete and return a booking form via or send through the title, date(s), start and finish times, venue address, booking information, contact details and event description. The deadline for submissions is midnight on 31 January.

The Box in Plymouth

Cllr Peter Smith, Deputy Leader of PCC, said: "The History Festival has been a big success each year and we’re hoping 2020 will be the best yet.

"We'd love some of the events to connect with Mayflower 400 and other related themes, such as journeys, democracy, legacy, imagination, humanity and cross-cultural collaboration.

"There are other important anniversaries in 2020 that could provide food for thought, too, including 75 years since the end of the Second World War, 80 years since the Battle of Britain, and 125 years since the National Trust was founded. It will be great to see what everyone comes up with."

A festival website will go live in 2020. In the meantime, you can stay up-to-date with news about next year’s event via Facebook and Twitter using @PlymHistoryFest

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