A JOYFUL weekend will see Harwich’s streets vibrating with music and songs, a weekend filled with events, people roaming around and enjoying the festival.

Harwich International Shanty Festival will celebrate their 14th anniversary from October 11 to 13 with an exciting line up of artists from abroad and all over UK.

Shanties and sea songs will be echoed in the town in a musical celebration of its rich maritime heritage.

Don’t get scared of the sight of pirates, soldiers and other strange and colourful characters, as they will be in town thorough the whole weekend.

This year’s festival will have not only shanties singing along, but also theatrical displays and workshops.

Inner State Theatre will be telling the story of Captain Cook’s Secret Recipe at the Redoubt Fort on Saturday, October 12 from 12pm.

River Rogue Pirates and The King’s German Artillery will mainly appear at the Redoubt Fort starting on Saturday from 12:45pm and Sunday at different times.

However, this year they will also be having a skirmish on the beach.

There will be traditional maritime craft workshops and displays, military displays, family activities and sea shanties at the fort on both weekend days.

They include Beginner’s Shanties with Geoff Higginbottom and Harmony singing for those with a little more experience.

'Knot tying', ‘Sayings from the sea’, ‘Tall ships’, ‘WW1 Harwich’ and ‘I’ve known this song all my life’ featuring a selection of mostly nautical songs led by Mick Verrier.

The popular bones workshops continue with the Dutch Uncle workshop, Hans Weehuizen instructing participants in playing a traditional maritime percussion instrument.

On a crafty theme, the ‘Being a pirate’ led by Roger Hamer gives you the chance to come along and make your own fabulous pirate hat.

The sailing ships, the Excelsior, Pudge and Victor will again be moored on the Ha’Penny Pier.

The first two will be offering bed and breakfast over the festival weekend.

Shanty singing and other events will be happening on board throughout the weekend, and there will be eight trips on the Victor with musical entertainment, which will have you singing and hopping along.

Car parking will be available in the Trinity House car park at the end of West Street and there will be a shanty bus to transport people around the town.

Organisers are looking for stewards, with an opportunity to see the festival from the inside, and in return for helping, volunteers will receive a Stewards’ Wristband, which will offer free access to most events.

For more information and to buy tickets visit harwichshantyfestival.co.uk