Festival planning under-way

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AN evening of entertainment dedicated to the 1940s, community stalls, a fun afternoon for children and a craft fair and competition are all ideas being explored for the annual Chatteris Historic Festival.

The Festival will run from June 24 to 26 and will include many of the usual favourites including the schools’ living history day, the parade through the streets, historical re-enactments and the dog show.

The walking parade is a major part of the Festival and the parade organisers are already trying to persuade groups and individuals to take part dressed in historic costume. This year the parade will leave an hour earlier, at 11am, from the Church Lane car park. This will give more time for re-enactments and performances in the show ring at the Festival site, Furrowfields Recreation Ground.

One of the key elements to the success of any Festival is the volunteers who give up their time to work as stewards/event guides. Last year unfortunately there were fewer stewards on duty and as a result those who helped had to spend longer at their post.

This year the organisers are hoping draw up a rota so volunteers are on duty for a shorter period but to do this more volunteers are needed.

If you can help in any way even if it is just for a short time collecting money at the gate, patrolling the field, etc, please contact Joanna Melton on 01354 695166, e-mail chatteriscouncil@btconnect.com. The group would also appreciate help with security from anyone who is SIA trained.

For 2011 the organisers have taken on board comments from previous festivals and are looking to expand the entertainment on offer.

The Medieval Meal on the Friday evening will be replaced with a 1940s evening when the food and competitions will reflect the war years and there will be dancing to music from that era. The organisers are planning to keep ticket prices as low as possible, in the hope as many guests as possible will join in the fun.

A craft fair and competition will encourage local people to show off their talents from cooking to knitting and painting to gardening. There will also be classes for children to enter. It is also hoped local organisations and charities will run fund raising stalls at the Festival.

If you would like to learn more about the plans for the Historic Festival please come along to an open meeting. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday January 26 at 7pm at the Council Chambers, 14 Church Lane, Chatteris.