Home ... Herne Bay ... Kent’s weird and wacky off-the-wall competitions, including custard pie championships, walking the plank, and oyster eating

Kent’s weird and wacky off-the-wall competitions, including custard pie championships, walking the plank, and oyster eating

Maidstone’s own World Custard Pie Championships are expected to attract interest from all over the world when they return with a splat on Saturday, June 6.

The big day, which will be held in its birthplace, Coxheath, pits teams of four against eachother in a fun – but fiercely-contested – pie-throwing competition, throwing left handed.

But it’s not the only off-the-wall contest which the county plays host to.

The Custard Tarts take on the Pie Commando Squad at a previous championships

The Custard Tarts take on the Pie Commando Squad at a previous championships

In celebration of the event opening for entries, we’ve compiled a list of other bizarre and wacky annual events which Kent is home to.

1. Sutton Valence, near Maidstone, has an annual Pram Race, in which hundreds turn out in fancy dress on New Year’s Day, to race around the village, with a pram and a ‘baby’.

The Olympic Equestrian Dressage Team at the Sutton Valence Pram Race

The Olympic Equestrian Dressage Team at the Sutton Valence Pram Race

2. The world walking-the-plank championships are held on the Isle of Sheppey and organised by the Sheppey Pirates in August every year. Captain Cutlass and his shipmates dispatch unlucky souls in to Queenborough Harbour.

The Sweeps Festival at Rochester

The Sweeps Festival at Rochester

3. In May each year, thousands turn out in Rochester for the Sweeps Festival, during which some 60 groups of traditional Morris dancers perform.

Captain Cutlass at the 12th World Walking the Plank Championships

Captain Cutlass at the 12th World Walking the Plank Championships

4. The Hawkhurst Gang Bonfire Society organises a procession through the village on Bonfire Night, to commemorate an infamous gang of smugglers who controlled the area in the 1700s, and were known for frequenting local pubs with loaded pistols on the tables. Their leaders were executed in 1748 and 1749.

5. Kent plays host to a number of scarecrow festivals, including Loose near Maidstone, Biddenden, Lower Higham near Gravesend and Charing, with entrants creating life-sized characters ranging from giant ducks to famous characters such as Peter Pan and Olaf from Disney’s Frozen.

The oyster eating challenge at Whitstable Oyster Festival

The oyster eating challenge at Whitstable Oyster Festival

6. The Whitstable Oyster Festival in July each year includes a hotly contested oyster eating competition during which competitors must eat six oysters and drink half a pint in the quickest time. The week-long festival includes a symbolic Landing of the Oysters, and the shellfish then go on to receive a “blessing” from the vicar.

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