Fun-packed Welwyn Festival 2018 kicks off this weekend

Welwyn Carnival parading through High Street, Welwyn. Picture: Melissa Page.

Welwyn Carnival parading through High Street, Welwyn. Picture: Melissa Page.

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Roll up, roll up! A fortnight-long circus themed festival for all the family kicks off in Welwyn this weekend.

Welwyn and District Garden Club Stall at last year's Welwyn Festival Street Market. Picture: Simon JenkinsWelwyn and District Garden Club Stall at last year's Welwyn Festival Street Market. Picture: Simon Jenkins

Now in its 44th year, the annual Welwyn Festival opens on Saturday, June 16 and the three-weekend programme of events will bring the village to life.

Running until June 30, the festival is packed full of events for all the family, plus plenty of fundraising events for local charities.

Key events include this Saturday’s street market, the Welwyn Oscars on Friday, June 22, the Welwyn 10k and 2k runs on Sunday, June 24, and, of course, Welwyn’s family fun day and street parade on June 30.

“The Welwyn Festival is a wonderful event enjoyed by the local community,” said festival chair Catherine Farrell.

World Challenge Stall Tombola at last year's Welwyn Festival Street Market. Picture: Simon JenkinsWorld Challenge Stall Tombola at last year's Welwyn Festival Street Market. Picture: Simon Jenkins

“This year the festival has a ‘circus’ theme, so we are expecting lots of fantastic costumes from the schools entries into the street parade on June 30, as well as a few surprise street entertainers!”

The showcase has more on than ever this year, with the event spanning three weekends in June rather than the usual two, putting Welwyn on the map when it comes to village fetes.

The opening weekend kicks off on Saturday, June 16 as the bell-ringers ring in Welwyn Week at Welwyn St Mary’s Church at 8.45am, followed by the ever-popular street market.

Codicote Road in the village centre will be closed to traffic as 60 stalls take over the street from 9am onwards, offering games, things to buy, refreshments and information from local charities. Entertain-ment will be provided by choirs and the hurdy gurdy man.

Welwyn Festival fun dayWelwyn Festival fun day

On the Sunday, enjoy the Walk Through Welwyn Quiz, where participants work in teams of two to four to answer observational, pictorial, cryptic and other questions based around the village.

The quiz will run from 3pm to 5pm and costs £5 per person, meeting outside The White Hart.

The second weekend will start with a bang, with the Welwyn Oscars at Church House on the Friday evening, June 22, from 7pm until midnight.

The evening, which celebrates and recognises individuals and businesses on their achievements and popularity with Welwyn residents, will begin with a Prosecco and canape reception.

The Welwyn Festival Street MarketThe Welwyn Festival Street Market

The award ceremony will be followed by a disco and special guest Bee Gees tribute band, Friday Night Fever.

Tickets cost £25 per person and are available from www.welwynfestival.org.uk or oscars@welwynfestival.org.uk

Events continue over that weekend with the fifth annual Welwyn 10k – and 2km children’s fun run – being organised by Garden City Runners on Sunday, June 24.

The race begins at 11am at Singlers Marsh.

There is a capacity of 600 runners and the event typically sells out.

Enter online at www.welwyn10k.org.uk

Families can also register for the 2k race taking place alongside it.

The festival will culminate on Saturday, June 30th with the fancy dress parade at 12.50pm followed by the family fun day on Singlers Marsh.

The circus-themed carnival procession will proceed from Welwyn Civic Centre down the High Street and to Singlers Marsh, where the fun day will be held.

Suitable for all the family, there will be classic cars, Punch and Judy, children’s rides, homemade fudge and confectionery, tea tent and fresh ground coffee, face painting, cupcakes, metal detecting, children’s craft stalls, doughnuts, jewellery, plate smash, coconut shy, boules, sand art, beer tent, hog roast, ice cream, tombola, local information stalls, charity stalls, tug of war, and the ever-popular family games area.

As well as being a fantastic event to bring the community together, Welwyn Festival also raises money for a number of local charities.

The Welwyn Festival group has been making charitable contributions to local charities for 14 years.

Since starting the charitable fund, it has been able to donate in excess of £80,000 to local causes.

The festival’s 2018 charities are Waste Not Want Not, Welwyn Friendship Club, St John of God Nursery, St Mary’s Church Preservation Fund, Blood Runners, Welwyn Fernery Group, The Mixed Group, and Hertfordshire Air Ambulance.

• To find out more about what’s on at Welwyn Festival, pick up a programme from one of the shops in the village or visit the website www.welwynfestival.org.uk

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