Wednesday, 11 August 2010


New Variety, Burlesque and seaside entertainment returns to Margate, with the popular Dippers and Dunkers festival expanding to cover a whole week.

The event, run by Thanet District Council, is now into its second year, and runs from Friday 20 August until Friday 27 August, offering something for every member of the family. The event kicks off with the Sassy Seaside Show at the Theatre Royal, featuring a range of different acts, including the Bears, Amber Topaz, Romany, Ryan Styles and the Sugar Dandies. Tickets are £15 and £12.50 for concessions.

The opening weekend sees the return of the unique sideshow illusions to Margate Old Town, where you can see the new, fully restored Monster Show and Professor Jon’s Flea Circus, as well as marvelling at the Headless Lady and the Girl in the Goldfish Bowl. In the Piazza, you’ll find the insect museum crawling around, while there are Punch and Judy shows being put on there on both days at midday, 2pm and 3pm. The Old Town will also be home to a Bo-Ho Market during the weekend. There’s also the chance to Be a Mermaid or to take part in a Burlesque workshop.

On Saturday 21 August, you can also enjoy free talks, with one looking at popular entertainment in Margate at midday, followed by another at 2pm, looking at famous circus entrepreneur Barnum. There’s also the chance to learn all about the sideshows and their history on Sunday 22 August at midday. All the talks take place at the Community Pharmacy Gallery.

There’s also a chance to be more active as part of Dippers and Dunkers, with 1950s Keep Fit on the Beach taking place from Monday 23 August to Friday 27 August at 8.00am. Later each day, at 10.00am, there will be Tai Chi by the Sea, with both put on by the council’s Sport Matters team. For younger members of the family, there are free puppet making children’s workshops at the Community Pharmacy Gallery and circus workshops at the Margate Media Centre during the week.

A series of infamous, famous and relatively unknown illustrations will be on display as part of Margate Drawn, sponsored by Southern Water at the Harbour Arm Gallery from Friday 20 August until Monday 30 August.

Leader of Thanet District Council, Cllr. Bob Bayford, said: “Dippers and Dunkers was a huge success when it debuted in Margate last year. This year, it’s bigger and better than ever. There are so many different things to see and do and the vast majority of them are free. The festival is all about bringing down high quality entertainment and opening up the arts to everyone in Thanet. From insect museums to Punch and Judy shows, Dippers and Dunkers demonstrates just how much fun the arts can be.”

You can find out more about Dippers and Dunkers at the website: or by calling 01843 577577.

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