Organisers are promising the biggest ever Garstang Music and Arts Festival after announcing this year’s spectacular line-up.
The annual event – which will see thousands flock to Garstang – will offer more than 50 events and performances over seven days and is the largest programme in the festival’s 23-year history.
Secretary of the organising committee Ruth Rendle says: “I’m not originally from the area but this is one of the things that attracted me to Garstang, ”
“Everyone joins in and these kind of events are dying out so it’s important we try to keep them going.”
Running from August 21 until August 28, each day will have a number of events in the market town.
Some of the most popular activities include The Garstang Lecture, a play by Dean Taylor and the annual Town Crier competition held on Bank Holiday Monday.
Celebrating “the glorious county of Lancashire” with various county themed events, the 2017 quiz is also all about the red rose county.
There is an exhibition of Lancashire authors and writers inspired by the county; a five-day holiday club, free for all primary school aged children entitled the Polar Explorers Club and crammed full of games, crafts, drama, music, junk modelling and Bible stories from August 21 to 25.
Again, there will be a pop-up exhibition of art works by local artists, with shops and community premises hosting window displays of paintings and there is a town trail with catalogue showing the route and its picturesque streets and weinds.
The site of the Big Picture has been moved from the old council offices to the north facing wall of the Co-op in the High Street and don’t miss this treat, designed and painted by the pupils of Garstang Community, St Thomas’, St Mary and Michael’s, St Michaels’-on-Wyre, Forton, Scorton and Nateby primary schools.
On August 21, there is Baby Bounce; card designing with full tuition; Song Birds invite you to sing favourite songs; an illustrated talk on Switzerland following seven intrepid travellers as they visit Geneva, Chamonix, the Bernese Oberland and Lake Lucerne, as part of Thomas Cook’s first visit there; A Celebration in Poetry and Song by June Baker, Barbara Hill and friends and a French Evening with Jan and Alan Burns, with cheese and wine tasting and music.
On August 22, there’s Toddle Rhyme Time; Play with Clay; Musical Moments with John Gilmore on soprano saxophone; Floral Art Demonstration with Joan Hardwick; Sixth Garstang Lecture “What I got up to in your bedroom” by vet Alan Pearson and an organ recital by Brian Dickenson.
August 23 sees Pat Ashcroft entertaining with “Kaleidoscope”; Montmartre with local artists painting in the Arts Centre courtyard with musical accompaniment; Arts and Crafts and a concert by Encore Opera performing pieces from a variety of operas.
August 24 is the day of Garstang’s market and as well as a variety of stalls; Mr Titus and Silver Bells will be entertaining children; there will be Musical Moments with John Gilmore in Cherestanc Square; a Palm Court Concert with June Baker and Friends; Montmartre again; jewellery making; “A Bird in the Hand Theatre”; Arts & Crafts and “The Life of Oliver Cromwell” by Dean Taylor Productions.
August 25 sees Baby Bounce; Poetry for Pleasure; a talk about preservatives; a concert by the Bowland Trio and Live Music at Cobblers.
August 26 sees the Grand Book Fair; Craft and Collectors Fair; another chance to see John Gilmore, Montmartre and Mr Titus; Happy Campers Theatre presenting “Come-bye!” with puppetry for all the family; children can create a sticker picture; “Garfest” Ukulele Festival, a first for the festival, and Lancaster Male Voice Choir performing.
August 27 sees Songs of Praise led by Churches Together; an informal folk music session with the Singleton Cloggers and Folkus Orchestra and Lune Valley Jazz Band.
And finally, August 28 sees the book fair again; a Country Market; John Gilmore again and the annual Town Criers’ Competition and Children’s Fun Competition.
n Full festival information is available from Visit Garstang Centre on 01995 602125 or the Arts Centre on 01995 606648.