An airshow, dubbed Festival of the
in 2009, takes place each May. Starting in 1986 – the first show
starred a Concorde flypast whilst on a passenger charter flight – the show is
one of Europe's largest free airshows and features high-speed military jets and
sports aerobatic displays, which fly over the sea, parallel with the seafront.
The RAF Falcons parachute display team and RAF Red Arrows jet aerobatics team
are regular visitors to the show.
Each August Southend Carnival opens along the "Golden Mile" with
the lighting of the Southend Illuminations.