ONE of the country’s biggest shanty festivals saw the streets of Harwich come alive with the sound of the sea.

Harwich International Shanty Festival was a three-day long celebration where soldiers, pirates and other strange and colourful characters visiting the town.

The festival featured more than 34 acts with artists travelling to Harwich from all over the country and from abroad.

Most of the entertainment, singing and dancing took place in pubs, as the festival used 18 venues throughout the town, as well as the Redoubt Fort for workshops and theatre shows.

Shanty Festival organiser Pam Fitzgerald said: “The weekend went brilliantly, it was a very successful event.

“At least 5,000 people came, possibly even more and they were even standing in the rain watching different performances and artists with wonderful harmonies.

“The town was busy, indoors and outdoors and some pubs had to send away people at times because of how full they were.

“Three pubs had to send for more beer and two other cafés had to send for more food.

“Our main priority was to celebrate Shanties but we wanted to promote Harwich and its businesses as a good place to visit and in return businesses helped us as well.”