THOUSANDS took part in a festival this weekend to celebrate all things fish.

Newhaven Fish Festival saw more than 3,000 fish-lovers celebrate the delicacy – and their town –in a day packed full of dancing, sunshine and drumming.

On Saturday children dressed in outfits designed in art classes funded by the Rampion wind farm and joined mermaids and seagulls to parade through town.

They walked to the main event, at West Quay lawns, which included fish stalls, music and a bouncy castle.

Carleton Astley, one of the event’s organisers, said: “The whole thing went 100 per cent according to plan – I was a little bit surprised.

“The sun was shining all day until it finished, then it poured it down.”

The annual event, which celebrates the town’s fishing industry, has been held for more than a decade.

It is run by Sussex Community Development.

Throughout the day on the green there were community group stalls, businesses on the promenade, art displays and live entertainment.

There was a marquee full of fish from Bickerstaff, a fresh fish retailers and wholesalers based in the town.

Children were treated to dancing demonstrations and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service brought an engine along for them to “climb all over”.

A pizza van donated all its proceeds to the Newhaven Community Garden.

Mr Astley said: “It is achieved by staff organisers, the community and organisations all working together to celebrate Newhaven and to have fun.

“It was fantastic.”

The event proved a big hit with visitors from across the south, who made their way to the town in the June heat.

Joseph Whitbread, 18, from Seaford, said: “They quay at Newhaven was lovely for the festival. I didn’t expect to see so many stalls and such crowds of people. The food stalls were really good. The people I was with liked the fish in a bun and the triple-cooked chips were great.”