Hatfield Festival returns for a packed fortnight of events starting this week

PUBLISHED: 14:25 29 May 2017 | UPDATED: 16:25 01 June 2017

Hatfield House

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A fun-packed fortnight of events and activities will take place across Hatfield as part of the town's festival this year.

Hatfield Festival 2017Hatfield Festival 2017

The Hatfield Festival returns for 2017 later this week and runs until June 18.

Co-ordinated by Hatfield Town Council, the festival opens with Hatfield House’s Food Festival from Friday, June 2 to Sunday, June 4.

The food festival will feature up to 150 exhibitors including local producers and artisan food and drink.

There will also be celebrity chef demonstrations, including Rosemary Shrager on Sunday, The Baker Brothers on Friday and Saturday, and Paul Jagger from the Great British Bake Off.

The Hatfield House Food Festival will open Hatfield Festival 2017The Hatfield House Food Festival will open Hatfield Festival 2017

The Hatfield Festival fortnight will see an eclectic programme of more than 80 events and activities taking place, including live music, exhibitions, talks, walks, demonstrations, screenings, and workshops, plus Steven’s Fun Fair will be holding a special Star Wars meet and greet on Birchwood Playing Field.

Free tasters will also be available in a range of activities and hobbies, such as fly-dressing, Scottish dancing, karate, aerobics, street dance, jazzercise, Pilates, Yoga, and much more.

Councillor James Broach, Hatfield’s new mayor, said: “The festival is just a snapshot of what you can see and do in Hatfield throughout the year, and shows what a vibrant and interesting place it is to live and work in.”

Highlights of the 2017 festival include artist Harriet Riddell’s exhibition InStitchYou, which will be displayed in the Chapman Gallery at the University of Hertfordshire until June 10.

Using her bicycle-powered sewing machine, UH graduate Harriet has captured Hatfield life in thread over the course of two weeks.

As a performance textile artist, she invited passers-by to pedal the bike, which enables her to machine-embroider observational stitched drawings of the landscape, people and conversations around her.

UHGalleries commissioned Harriet to stitch this portrait of Hatfield, incorporating life both on and off-campus.

The resulting work will be displayed in the Chapman Gallery on the College Lane Campus.

Harriet Riddell in HatfieldHarriet Riddell in Hatfield

Hatfield Library in the town centre will host a talk from de Havilland Aircraft Museum’s new curator on Tuesday, June 6.

Alistair Hodgson will talk about the history of Salisbury Hall, including its wartime role with the Mosquito design.

Tickets are £7 and can be bought via the Hertfordshire Libraries website at hertfordshire.gov.uk/libraryeventtickets

The historic St Etheldreda’s Church in Old Hatfield will once again open its ringing chamber to give visitors the opportunity to ring the church bells and be heard across Hatfield.

Harriet Riddell's art will go on display in Hatfield as part of Hatfield Festival 2017Harriet Riddell's art will go on display in Hatfield as part of Hatfield Festival 2017

The church open day takes place on Saturday, June 10 between 2pm and 4pm.

Visitors can learn about the ancient art of campanology, and you may even want to sign-up to join the team. Free admission.

Reverend Amanda Duncan will hold a special pet blessing service at St John’s Church on Sunday, June 11 at 3pm.

Held outside of St John’s Youth Club on the lawn, the event will be accompanied by live music, and you will also be able to visit this iconic church.

There will be a talk on Salisbury Hall and the de Havilland Aircraft Company at the town's library as part of Hatfield Festival 2017There will be a talk on Salisbury Hall and the de Havilland Aircraft Company at the town's library as part of Hatfield Festival 2017

Join Hatfield Local History Society for its AGM on Monday, June 12, and hear Janet Robinson (nee Tingey) discuss her 19th and 20th century family history from Hatfield and St Albans.

This event takes place at Friendship House, and costs £2 to attend.

Local space expert Jerry Stone presents Space is Big, an interactive talk on Friday, June 16.

Take a journey from the Earth to the Moon, the planets and beyond. Using inflatable planets, members of the audience will take part in demonstrations that will show just how far it really is to the Moon, and how many planets we really have.

You can try bell ringing at St Etheldreda's Church in Old Hatfield as part of Hatfield Festival 2017You can try bell ringing at St Etheldreda's Church in Old Hatfield as part of Hatfield Festival 2017

The event takes place at Birchwood Leisure Centre at 7pm and is free to attend.

Closing the festivities will be a weekend of live music, starting with Hatfield Town Council’s free Music Festival on Saturday, June 17, headlined by A Century of Soul.

This will be followed by the de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra performing Mozart, Strauss and Mahler on Sunday, June 18 at The Weston Auditorium on the University of Hertfordshire’s de Havilland Campus.

• The full Hatfield Festival programme is available online www.facebook.com/HatFest2017 or in printed format.

There will be a pet blessing service as part of Hatfield Festival 2017There will be a pet blessing service as part of Hatfield Festival 2017

For more information, contact the festival co-ordinator on 01707 280403 or email events@hatfield-herts.gov.uk

The de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra will bring the Hatfield Festival 2017 to a closeThe de Havilland Philharmonic Orchestra will bring the Hatfield Festival 2017 to a close

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