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Hartlepool is set to welcome scores of visitors next month as the town plays host to its inaugural rum festival at one of the region’s historic tourist attractions.

The National Museum of the Royal Navy (NMRN) is hosting the festival on board HMS Trincomalee and around the town’s quayside at Jackson Dock, which will be authentically recreated for the event on Saturday 11th August from 7.30pm-11pm.

There will be a large selection of rums available to sample on the evening, including already confirmed brands Alnwick, Pusser’s, English Spirit and Old J Spiced Rum, with others set to be announced ahead of the event.

The NMRN Hartlepool is also creating a Polynesian-inspired an Old J Spiced Rum-themed Tiki room, which will include a cocktail bar area with all different varieties of Old J Spiced Rum.

NMRN staff will also be on hand to deliver masterclasses about the history of rum, the Navy’s signature beverage, and tours of the quayside and NMRN Hartlepool site, with live musicians and entertainment taking place over the course of the festival.

Following the success of a rum festival held at the National Museum of the Royal Navy Portsmouth, the charity decided to bring the event up North.

The rum festival will also support the ‘Enjoy Tees Valley’ destination marketing service that was launched by the Tees Valley Combined Authority and led by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. It aims to champion the region’s tourist attractions, create an additional 3,000 jobs across Tees Valley and contribute £1bn to the local economy by 2021.

Rachel Shepherd, Events Manager at the National Museum of the Royal Navy, said: “We are hoping to recreate the success enjoyed by our festival held in Portsmouth and are excited to be bringing the event to the North. The NMRN Hartlepool site and quayside are ideal locations for the festival, and we are grateful to the many, popular rum brands that are already confirmed and supporting our rum festival.

“It is shaping up to be a fantastic evening of entertainment, with plenty of activities and masterclasses scheduled to hopefully increase footfall in the town, while continuing our ongoing support of the region’s wider leisure and tourism economies.”

Mayor Houchen said:“Hats off to the National Museum of the Royal Navy for thinking outside the box with this event. Hartlepool is known nationwide for its rich naval heritage, so it’s excellent to see the team organising a bit of a knees up to rightly celebrate it. I hope as many people head down, have fun, and support our local tourist attractions.”

HMS Trincomalee, which celebrated her 200th anniversary in 2017, is Britain’s oldest warship still afloat and forms part of the NMRN Hartlepool site and the wider NMRN historic fleet alongside HMS Victory, submarine HMS Alliance and Belfast’s First World War survivor, HMS Caroline.

For further information about the Hartlepool Rum Festival, or to purchase tickets, which cost £20, visit: http://www.hartlepoolrumfestival.co.uk

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