It seems to be an oddity to Jersey that the passage of time is often measured in events rather than hours or months. Mention that you’ve got friends coming for ‘Battle Week’ and a local will know just when they’re arriving, and the first bank holiday in May is known locally as ‘Boat Show weekend’ rather than May Day.
So accustomed are we to the series of large and spectacular events that take place here year after year that they have become ingrained in our internal calendars, and you can witness them in all their glory during your 2021 Jersey holiday.
In 2020, of course, many were cancelled and it’s thrown us quite off-kilter; like never knowing quite what day of the week it is over Christmas; have we had September yet if there was no Air Display? We are therefore more excited and hopeful than ever that our beloved events can return in 2021, bigger and brighter than ever before.
The Boat Show – 1st to 3rd May 2021
For one long weekend in May each year, the harbour area in St. Helier plays host to dozens of glitzy superyachts, world-class speedboats, fascinating military vessels and even a giant floating rubber duck.
The Barclays Jersey Boat Show is both the largest maritime and largest free to attend event in the Channel Islands. Crowds gather to stroll along pontoons and explore the kind of yachts only the rich and famous usually get to see or to climb aboard an RAF warship and see what life is like for troops at sea.
For those without sea legs, there’s plenty on offer back on dry land, with a wide selection of local food trucks, live music, water sport demonstrations and pop-up shopping options selling everything from supercars to swimsuits.
Liberation Day – 9th May 2021
2021 will mark the 76th anniversary of Liberation Day, which is the event closest to the hearts of Islanders. A designated bank holiday, Liberation Day commemorates the arrival of allied forces on 9th May 1945 to formally accept German surrender and free the island from 5 years of occupation and hardship.
Marked each year by Islanders old and young, as the date approaches Jersey explodes in a sea of red, white and blue, with flags and bunting hung from about every flagpole, window and streetlamp from east to west, north to south. The day itself brings street parties, cavalcades, memorial services, barn dances and more, with the centrepiece being an emotional yet joyous re-enactment of the British flag being raised at the Pomme d’Or Hotel.
Visitors are warmly invited to share in the celebrations and learn about the history that echoes through the island to this day.
Jersey International Motoring Festival – 3rd to 6th June 2021
Taking place in early June, the Jersey International Motoring Festival, or JIMF, is the largest motoring event in the Channel Islands and attracts both participants and visitors from all corners of the globe.
The event comprises a fantastic static display in St. Helier over the whole weekend, while a number of exciting competitive sprint and hill-climb events take place around the island for classic and vintage cars along with motorcycles, along with a full programme of events for touring cars.
With the thrills and spills of motorsport combined with the picturesque surroundings of Jersey, the JIMF is a must for any motoring enthusiast.
Battle of Flowers – 13th and 14th August 2021
Dreamt up as a one-off celebration to mark the 1902 Coronation of King Edward VII, the Battle of Flowers Parade has since become an institution, taking place almost every year since, and attracting up to 60,000 spectators at its peak.
Now taking place over two days with the spectacular daytime parade followed by a floodlit evening fiesta, Battle of Flowers regularly draws crowds from the UK, Europe and beyond. The original horse-drawn floral floats have now been replaced by petrol-powered tractor-trailers and the largest can be over 30 feet long and several stories high.
Floats can take many months of preparation and painstaking decorating by hand before the big day, and teams made up of friends, families and organisations compete to win a range of prestigious awards. It’s often possible to visit some of the construction sheds in the days prior to Battle and witness for yourself the intricate work that goes into the floats, to get the full experience you can enjoy this as well as the parades in the JerseyTravel.com Battle of Flowers Package.
Jersey International Air Display – 10th September 2021
The Jersey International Air Display has been taking place annually since 1952 and is another hot date in local calendars with schools closing and many workers taking the whole or part of the day off to enjoy the spectacle.
One of the largest and best free-to-view air shows in Europe, the Battle of Britain display takes place over the sands of St. Aubin’s Bay, with plenty of perfect vantage points for spectators.
From iconic sights such as the Spitfire, Chinook and the RAF Red Arrows to quirky inclusions such as ‘Jet-Man’ Yves Rossy and a much-loved Trislander from Guernsey, over the years a wide range of aircraft have taken to the skies to delight the crowds below.