The brochure for the Much Wenlock Festival dropped out of the Wenlock Herald when I opened it today. It reminded me that the Festival, being biennial, is one of a number of major events in the Much Wenlock calendar this year.
First of all, we have the Live Arts Festival on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th March and the following weekend, Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th March. There are competitive classes in dance, music and speech & drama for children and young people aged 18 and under.
This followed by the three-day Wenlock Poetry Festival from Friday 22nd to Sunday 24th April. This year’s programme includes Mark Niel, Gillian Clarke, Don Paterson, Andrew McMillan, Lemn Sissay and Daljit Nagra
From 4th – 18th June the Much Wenlock Festival includes Proms On The Church Green, a Gilbert and Sullivan Gala Night, Oddsocks’ Macbeth and Much Ado About Nothing, an evening with the Hatstand Opera Company, another with Chris Beardshaw and, of course, an Open Gardens day.
The historic Wenlock Olympian Society holds its 130th Main Games Weekend from Friday 8th to Sunday 10th July, when events from football to fencing and from golf to gliding attract competitors from far and wide.
Finally, Festival at the Edge celebrates its 25th storytelling festival at the Edge from 15th – 17th July when artistes as varied as Peter Chand, Ange Hardy and Lukas Drinkwater, Lady Maisery, Sahand Sahebdivani, Dovie Thomason and Alex Ultradish will entrance visitors to Stokes Barn.
All of these events bring visitors to our lovely town and provide a wide variety of entertainment and activity for them and for local residents. They also stimulate economic activity – always welcome in a rural community. Shops, pubs, restaurants, cafés, hotels and campsites all need the business!