IT'S a time for new beginnings and 2020 is already shaping up to be a good one for the Isle of Wight.

The County Press team has been looking ahead and has come up with the Top Ten things to look forward to in 2020.

We are lucky to have a wealth of activities, festivals, beaches, carnivals and attractions right on our doorstep, so get your diaries out, get your tickets booked and get ready for what’s in store.

Please note: this is not an exhaustive list!

1. White-tailed sea eagles were introduced on the Isle of Wight during 2019 and, at the last count, three were still happily residing here. More are due to be introduced, and it is hoped they will start breeding within a few years. Binoculars are not really needed to spot the birds, but you have to be lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Get out walking, especially along the coastline, and keep your eyes peeled.

2. It is 50 years since the iconic 1970 Isle of Wight Festival. To celebrate, you could head to the famous re-incarnation at Seaclose, which attracts tens of thousands of revellers each year. This year, headliners include Lionel Richie, Lewis Capaldi, Duran Duran, the Chemical Brothers and Snow Patrol, from June 11 to 14. The original venue is also playing host to festival-goers, with All Wight Now putting on a festival on the original site at East Afton Farm. Experience 1970 will take place on September 5 and 6. Those looking for a relaxed weekend for all the family could choose to camp out at Rhythmtree, combining the music with a local mini-break (July 10 to 12), and fans of retro music will love Jack Up the Summer featuring Heaven 17 and Heather Small (August 7 to 9).

3. Cowes Week is back on August 8 to 15 and the big question is, will it feature on the Red Arrows' schedule this year? Either way, there's always plenty to do shoreside and on the water, from gin-tasting to yacht racing.

4. The Isle of Wight's first outdoor floating aqua park is opening at Tapnell Farm in the spring, providing a new all-weather activity for the whole family. The water park will feature inflatables, kayaking and paddleboarding.

5. Wight Proms was a huge hit with sell-out audiences in 2019, so we can get excited already for 2020. Expect some more big name stars after Lesley Garrett and Alan Davies made the trip across the Solent for the 2019 event. It will be earlier in the year, from July 17 to 20.

6. We are lucky to have some lovely theatre venues and incredibly talented professional and amateur dramatic groups on the Island. Theatre-goers have plenty to look forward to, including Chicago by Ventnor Theatre Group from May 8 to 10. Visiting acts include Jimmy Carr at Shanklin Theatre on February 7.

7. Walk the Wight is the best excuse to get out and stretch those legs. Thousands of people as company, stunning scenery at every turn and the knowledge it is all for a worthy cause — Mountbatten. It's going to be extra special in 2020, celebrating its 30th birthday, on May 10.

8. Arreton Barns had a difficult year due to weather — having to cancel both the Sweetcorn Fayre and the annual fireworks and bonfire event. Now the team is looking forward to 2020, and have a date for the diary — the Sweetcorn Fayre on September 26 and 27. Over the years, the Gibbs family has raised more than £250,000 for local charities through their events and are keen to get back on track next year.

9. Get ready to line the streets for the annual carnivals. We are fortunate to have several towns and villages that keep up this tradition, including Ryde which boasts the oldest carnival in the UK.

10. There are so many big events on the Island, you could be kept busy every weekend. Among the bigger ones are the Isle of Wight County Show on June 28, Chale Show on August 1 and 2, the Garlic Festival on August 15 to 16, the 46th Isle of Wight Steam Show from August 28 to 31, the Isle of Wight Literary Festival from October 8 to 11 and Ventnor Fringe Festival from July 28 to August 2.

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