Plymouth goes large in 2021 with impressive event programme

Jul 15, 2020

Plymouth is bouncing back in 2021 with fresh plans for a year of events and activities starting from the exact date the Mayflower ship set sail 400 years ago.

A brilliant line-up, including signature Mayflower 400 commemoration and city events, will re-energise Plymouth next year.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, major events planned for the city this summer have been cancelled, including the British Firework Championships, the Ocean City Blues 'n' Jazz Festival and Mayflower Week.

A new programme that incorporates already confirmed activity is now taking shape.

The Mayflower 400 commemorations will run into next year, with an event for digital viewing on 16 September, 2020, marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower ship sailing. More information about this will be announced in due course.

The major public commemoration will now take place in summer 2021 as part of Mayflower International Festival, including:

  • Mayflower Four Nations Ceremony
  • Mayflower Military Muster
  • Rehabilitation Triathlon hosted by the Royal Marines

Meanwhile, the British Firework Championships will return to Plymouth next August.

Cllr Pete Smith, Deputy Leader of Plymouth City Council, said: "We are, of course, incredibly disappointed that so many major events planned for summer 2020 are not possible, but the changes we have made to the programme mean that Plymouth will still be able to maximise the opportunities offered by Mayflower 400 as part of Resurgam, the city's economic recovery plan.

"We're now looking forward to 2021 which is going to be a fantastic year for our city, with loads for everyone to enjoy - including the British Firework Championships, the Mayflower International Festival and a great line-up of cultural happenings."

Mayflower Community Sparks, a programme funding grass-roots community, arts and cultural activity in Plymouth, will continue.

Many of the community events will be held during the Mayflower 400 programme through to summer 2021, with some going ahead early with additional social distancing measures in place.

Adrian Vinken OBE, Chair of the national Mayflower 400 partnership, said: "We’re amazed at the level of public interest in the real story of the Mayflower and the impact it had on the world today.

"Because of that attention, all 13 other UK Mayflower destinations, plus our partners in Holland and the United States, remain equally enthusiastic and committed to delivering their planned programmes and events through well into 2021. There's a lot of great stuff to look forward to, it's really encouraging."

Announcements about third-party events due to be held on Council land this summer will be made by the organisers.

  • For all the latest information about events in Plymouth, please see or find more information about Mayflower 400 events in Plymouth here.
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