AN ICONIC town festival has been voted residents' favourite entertainment event for 2021.

The Harwich International Shanty Festival, which sees thousands of people and shanty singers descend on the maritime town for the popular sea songs every year, has been given the East Anglian Festival of the Year award.

This completes a hat trick of honours after the event was nominated for the Tendring District Council Pride of Tendring recognition.

Ramsey and Dovercourt Crusaders have also awarded festival organisers Jon and Pam Fitzgerald their Kate Guilfoyle Memorial Shield which they will hold for a year.

This year's festival saw artists from the Netherlands and all around the UK converge at Harwich's old town for the 15th annual shanty event.

More than 6,000 visitors enjoyed a rich programme of activities, including concerts, sing-a-round sessions, workshops, illustrated talks and maritime crafts.

READ MORE: IN PICTURES: Thousands enjoy world performances in UK's top shanty festival

On receiving the Festival of the Year award, the shanty organisers said: "We are all both humbled and grateful for this recognition and hope that the festival may continue to play an important part in the life of Harwich town and its residents.

"Many thanks to all our supporters who voted for us!"

This year’s festival will take place between October 7 and 9.