The Chatham Maritime Food and Drink Festival -25th, 26th and 27th May 2024

Chatham Food and Drink Festival

Celebrating our Maritime heritage and giving local residents an event that they can enjoy and feel pride in

Welcome to the Chatham Maritime Food & Drink Festival 2024.  This year the event takes place over three days 25th to 27th May 2024.

This year we are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the festival.  The festival continues to build on the success of previous years offering food and drink from award winning local producers. We offer a wide range of locally produced foods showcased alongside foreign gastronomic delights, together with beer, wine and cider producers to tempt the tastebuds.

This is a FREE family-friendly festival offering something for everyone to enjoy.  The highlight of the event is the Medway Sunlight Rotary Dragonboat Race on the Sunday – great fun for participants and a spectacle for those watching.

Opportunities for 2024 Brand Sponsorship

There will be a vintage car display in Chatham Maritime Trust’s car park and the Ghostbuster car will return with hopefully a Jeep from Jurassic Park and a steam engine.  There will be a Tombola stall and kids games alongside the tugs adjacent to Basin 1.


On Saturday 25th May the MT Kent historic Tugboat will have a display of classic cars and the tugboat will be open to visitors.  Any money donated on the day will be used to keep this old tugboat seaworthy.

The Vic will also be open to visitors during the festival.

On Saturday the PCSO will be holding a FREE bike marking session at CMT’s Estate Office from 10 am to 2 pm.

Medway Triathlon will be giving an open water swimming demonstration on the Saturday at midday and at 1.30/2 pm.

On Monday there will be two rescue demonstrations by the Newfoundland Dog Rescue at midday and 2 pm.  The dogs will be on site all day in a gazebo in the Watersports Centre car park to meet and greet visitors.

The RNLI will also be present promoting water safety with their Mascot Stormy Stan.


Food and Drink

We have a fantastic range of food and drink producers to tempt and tickle your taste buds…

 Traders for 2024

Traders that have confirmed include:  Elles Bakery /  Inihaw Vietnamese  /  Magic Penny Soap /  Meat & Bread  /  Sinful Slice Cakes  /  Radburger   /  Butternut Box /  Avila  (Venezuelan)  /  The Baking Nanny  /  Crab Works Food  /  Heavenly Sausages  /  Iza Good Jerk (Caribbean) /  Willobeans  /  Jinger Drinks  /  Hot Donut Co.  /  Yummy Thai  /  McCanns Brewery  /  Oz Catering Ltd  /  Whippy Time  /  The Biltong Station  /  Handmade Truffles  /  Fine Food Lands Ltd  /  Kent Cider Co.  /  Cake Me Happy  /  Spanish Homemade  /  John Beaney (Strawberries)  /  Mandala Dumplings  /  Mid Sussex Super Cream

Crochet by Heena  /  CAR Designs & Handmade by Us/  Eavesessence  /  The Octopus Foundation  /  Auntie Bonnies  /  Kent Wildlife Trust

Live Music for 2024 - musicians are booked to appear on the event dates but line-ups are subject to change.

Saturday 25th May 2024

11.00 – 11.45    Cloud Nine Jazz

12.00 – 12.45    Milky Negro

13.00 – 13.45    Sam Brothers

14.00 – 14.45    TBA

15.00 – 15.45    Jonny Hepbir Swing Guitar

16.00 –  16.45    Emma Katie Frost

17.00  –  17.45  Thomas Abrahams

Sunday 26th May 2024

11.00 – 11.45    Jonica Love

12.00 – 12.45    Brendan Power

13.00 – 13.45    Blake Sonnet

14.00 – 14.45    Joe Jones

15.00 – 15.15    Hannah & the Band

16.30 – 17.00    Dragon Boat Awards Ceremony

17.00 – 18.00    Mainly Sax

Monday 27th May 2024

11.00 – 11.45    Social Rock Choir

12.00 – 12.45    Shipwrights’s Shanty Crew

13.00 – 13.45    Fred Clark

14.00 – 14.45    Peninsula Big Band

15.00 – 15.45    The Busking Barber

16.00 – 17.00    Ella Bouvard

Watersports activities

Saturday 25th May 2024

Have A Go – Kayaking, Paddleboarding and Sailing

Sunday 26th May 2024

The focus on the water will be the Dragon Boat Challenge.

Monday 27th May 2024

Have A Go – Kayaking, Paddleboarding and Sailing

Watersports All Weekend!


The Dragon Boats are back!

This is the ‘flagship’ charity event for the Medway Sunlight Rotary Club and one that is a real highlight for the spectators and those involved.

The Dragon boats are forty foot long, elaborately decorated Chinese war canoes with a dragon’s head and tail attached. You provide 16 ‘volunteers’ to paddle a boat plus a drummer to beat out the rhythm for everyone to paddle to (which everyone tends to ignore!).

Due to the increasing popularity of the event there is a maximum limit of 32 teams that can participate.  If you want to be part of a great event then don’t delay –  book your place!

The Dragon Boat challenge for 2024 takes place at Basin 2 Chatham Maritime on Sunday 26th May.   The racing starts at 10.30 am.  This is a charity event and each team is asked to raise a minimum of £250 in sponsorship, of which 50% can be nominated to a charity of their choice.  All money raised by the event is directed to Rotary supported charities providing care and support in the community.  This year the charities are:

Club Ausome – a Medway charity that supports children and young people aged between 0-18 with disabilities or additional needs and their families.

Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust – funding the purchase of essential equipment for babies who need intensive care and providing support for visiting parents.

Air Ambulance Charity Kent, Surrey & Sussex – local independent charity providing Helicopter Emergency Medical Services – performing life emergency treatment and swift transfer to hospital.

The Octopus Foundation  – delivers vital mental health and wellbeing support – a small charity making a huge difference.

Entry forms and all relevant information can be found on Medway Sunlight Rotary website.

At 15.45 there will be a final race of six teams that were fastest in the heats to win the Presidents Trophy

At 16.00 there will the six fastest teams racing for the Dragon Boat Challenge Trophy

At 16.30 there will be a presentation at the Band Stand in Dock Square presenting medals and certificates and the trophy to the winning team

At 16.45 there will be the Dragon Draw at the Band Stand for raffle draw prizes.

All the teams that entered last year had a brilliant time and provided a fantastic spectacle for the thousands of spectators who thronged the side of Basin 2 to cheer on their favourite team as they enjoyed the wide range of food and drink available at the Food and Drink Festival.


The festival is held alongside basin 2 and the marina.

The dockside will be lined with food and drink stalls and the bandstand will host live music from local acts throughout the festival.

This page will be updated as details of the activities and timetable become available but for up to the minute information follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Lots of free parking...

There will be ample free festival parking on site – Pembroke Compass Centre and 50 Pembroke in North Road and Drill Hall Library on the University campus.  When these areas are full there will be parking at Dockside Outlet Centre but charges will apply.  There will traffic management to direct visitors to these areas.   Disabled parking will be located at One Savings Bank, Quayside which will be signposted.

We’re asking festival goers not to park on St Mary’s Island, as it impacts on residents. And finally, just a reminder that Medway Council Enforcement Officers work over the festival weekend so unfortunately if you park illegally you do risk a parking ticket.

A huge thank you to our Sponsors!
Dockside Outlet Centre / ArcelorMittal & Medway Sunlight Rotary Club


Chatham Maritime Trust runs the festival every year using an event management company, The Event Umbrella,  to organise and manage the stalls and entertainment.

If you are a trader wishing to take space at the festival please register with The Event Umbrella.

What our visitors say...

Your festival today was fun and going well, although very wet! That is until we kept our children out of the rain in the children’s tent.

Brilliant! We went on all 3 days. Obviously a shame it rained on Monday but that is out of our control, Dragon Boat racing was fab, food and drink was awesome and music and atmosphere was brilliant. Same again next year please.

Absolutely awesome day – down to the wire with the Dragon Boat racing – loved every minute.

Thanks for a fantastic, well run event. Lots of really nice people & helpful staff. We’d love to do it all again.

Great event & great weekend at Chatham Maritime Food & Drink Festival, well organised, well attended & lots of lovely people!

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