Octopus Ahoy! will be the public art event of 2021 in Essex. This large-scale public art event celebrates the 400 years since Captain Christopher Jones’ sea voyage aboard the Mayflower, and the 150th Anniversary of Clacton-on-Sea.

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What is the Mayflower 400™?

2020 marked the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower from Plymouth, UK to Plymouth, Massachusetts. To celebrate this milestone and commemorate the legacy of the passengers and crew who undertook the journey, a series of public events is planned for 2021, aimed at inspiring creativity and culture as well as promoting education. The overarching campaign will champion the values of freedom, faith and personal liberty that informed the original journey.


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Octopus Ahoy! was originally planned for 2020; why and how was the project postponed?

Following long consideration, it was with the support of stakeholders, suppliers and Tendring District Council that Octopus Ahoy! (originally due for launch on 4th July 2020) was postponed until the summer of 2021.

This decision was made in line with COVID-19 guidance, for the safety of the public and everyone involved with the launch and running of the project. It was felt that the Octopus Ahoy! would better serve its sponsors and the local community in a time when schools, sponsors and the public can take part fully and – most importantly – safely, in its best possible form.

Octopus Ahoy! 2021 in association with Mayflower 400™ project and 150 Years of Clacton.

We look forward to delivering this fun, free activity in the summer of 2021 with all relevant safety and social distancing considerations. Watch this space – and keep an eye on our website and social media channels for updates!

What is 'Octopus Ahoy!'?

For 10 weeks in the summer of 2021, Harwich and the wider Essex area will see its parks and open spaces taken over by giant painted octopus sculptures! Over one hundred octopus sculptures will engage local professional artists and school children, who will design and paint them, celebrating the creativity of Essex.

Read more here

What other events are taking place in celebration of Mayflower 400™?

A variety of events planned for summer 2020 have been rescheduled for dates throughout 2021, with all necessary considerations of safety and social distancing in place. Discover what’s happening, find what captures your interest and then get involved.

Read more here

Can I create a sculpture?

In 2020, we invited local artists to get involved and submit their most creative and eye-catching designs to a unique art event to celebrate the Mayflower 400™️ in Harwich and to help raise money for Essex charities.

We are not currently sourcing more design submissions ahead of the postponed project launch in summer 2021, but there are some designs still available for new business sponsors to select from.

Read more here

How big are the Octopus Sculptures?

The main octopus sculptures are roughly 4ft by 4ft. The smaller octopus sculptures, for schools, measure roughly 2ft by 2ft.

How can I get involved?

There are so many ways to get involved! Interested in joining our Volunteer programme as an ‘Octopus Shipmate’? Email us for details, at octopus@katmarketing.co.uk

What is an Octopus Patron?

An Octopus Patron is a sponsor of one or more large octopus sculptures – without whom, this project simply would not be possible. We are still welcoming additional sponsors ahead of the rescheduled launch in 2021 – get in touch to find out more.