SOUTHAMPTON residents are being urged to support a two-day festival celebrating the city’s maritime history.

At the official launch of the Daily Echo-backed Southampton Maritime Festival last night, city leaders promised it would be bigger and better than last year.

A two-day programme of events was unveiled with highlights including a fly-past by the Red Arrows, trips on the city’s steam ship, SS Shieldhall, vintage fairground rides, heritage talks and a display of historic little ships, tugs and vehicles.

There will also be an indoor heritage, antique, arts and craft fair and a host of live entertainment, including a performance by boyband Kingsland Road who appeared on last year’s X Factor.

And dozens of the city’s charities and heritage organisations will be there to show off the good work they do throughout the year.

At the launch, the Sheriff of Southampton, Cllr Linda Norris, raised a toast to the event which last year attracted 12,000 people.

She said: “It’s going to bring more people into the city while engaging with residents who live here.

“It’s so exciting and hopefully it’s going to be even bigger and better than last year. I’m looking forward to being there.”

The second Maritime Festival, once again supported by the Daily Echo, will be at the port’s Ocean Terminal on August 22 and 23.

Tickets cost just £1 for children and £5 for adults for a one-day pass, and £12 for an adult two-day pass with parking.

Call 023 8071 1818 or visit