Traditional fun for all at beach on Boxing Day

The mad cap raft race around the harbour - a Boxing Day tradition
The mad cap raft race around the harbour - a Boxing Day tradition
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Scarborough’s traditional Boxing Day celebrations are set to draw the crowds to South Bay on Thursday.

The festivities will get under way on the beach at 10.30am, when the mayor, Cllr Andrew Backhouse, will kick off a football match between the fishermen and firemen.

The event has been running since 1893 and the “firemen” are traditionally the men who stoked the fires on board fishing vessels.

Organiser Liz Blades said: “It’s great fun and always draws a good crowd. Everyone’s looking forward to it.

“People will be out with collecting buckets and tins. All the proceeds go towards food vouchers for local elderly people.”

Last year, a collection throughout the day for the Fishermen and Firemen Charity Fund raised over £3,000, which meant 120 vouchers could be given out.

On the day, there will also be the traditional Mile of Pennies along Foreshore Road, where people are welcome to leave coins of any amount.

Organisers are hoping for good weather, as icy footpaths have proved troublesome for placing and collecting the coins in the past.

Following the football match, the annual raft race will get under way in the harbour at 12.30pm - though people are advised to get there in good time as timings are approximate.

Raft race organiser Colin Lawson, of Scarborough Sub Aqua Club, said: “The tide is good for us on the day, which is excellent, are we’re expecting a good turnout as usual.

“We normally have between 12 and 20 rafts, with quite a few last-minute entries.”

He added: “The collection will be going throughout, so if you can help please give what you can. The crowd are always generous, which is very much appreciated.”

There is still time for teams to enter for the raft race. Each team must provide their own raft, which is capable of supporting three people. To find out more please call 07831 351900 or contact Scarborough Sub Aqua Club on (01723) 372036.