THE WORCESTER Festival will explode into life this weekend as city goers prepare for an action-packed fortnight of entertainment.
The 17-day extravaganza, which starts on Saturday (August 9) and runs until Monday, August 25, will see activities and fun on show for everyone across the city and further afield.
Thousands of visitors are expected to flock to the Faithful City to enjoy everything from marching bands, to arts and crafts, fêtes, theatre productions and the spectacular closing fireworks display.
Ben Humphrey, now in his second year of organising the event, said he was confident this year’s festival would top all else before it.
“There’s tons of stuff even I’m jealous I can’t go,” the 28-year-old told The Observer. “I’m really looking forward to it though, I always look forward to festival time.
“There’s something for everyone to take part in and it’s just one of those times of year where you really do get the most out of what’s around.
“For me, the ethos of the festival is it gets people to celebrate Worcester and Worcester’s culture, the sporting culture, historical culture, artistic, spiritual, and religious, it’s everything and there’s nothing that can’t be a part of the festival.”
Organised by Worcester Live, the festival has been running 12 years and will see more than 350 activities for people to try their hand at.
Ben said the size and number of events had been kept similar to last year but they have rafted in a host of new attractions to whet the appetite, which include two local musicians performing at The Commandery.
“To walk through the city centre and see the marching bands come through and think I had a hand in that, I helped organise that, I put that into the streets, is a fantastic thing,” he added.
“The accessibility to the festival has improved a huge amount over the last few years, it’s for everyone and I think with a lot of festivals there can be a sense of ‘this festival isn’t for me’ because people can’t afford a ticket price or it isn’t something they’d normally do.
“Whereas the Worcester Festival completely dispels that myth because so many of our events are free, so many of the events you can take part in without having any experience whatsoever.
“There’s a lot of festivals where you have to invest a lot of time and money to be a part of it and that’s not the case with the Worcester Festival and that’s why I think it’s so successful.”
Here are some of the highlights to look forward to over the next week:
Saturday August 9:
Funky Faces Face Painting 10am to 1pm at Chapel Walk, CrownGate and Friary Walk. Free.
Fifteenth Worcester CAMRA Beer, Cider and Perry Festival Midday to 10pm at Pitchcroft. £5, accompanied under 16s free.
St Richard’s Hospice Duck Race 2pm from South Quay to Worcester Cathedral. Free to watch or adopt a duck for various prices.
Sunday August 10:
Riverside Arts Market 11am to 5pm at Riverside and South Quay. Free.
Monday August 11:
Tour of the Cathedral 11am to midday at Worcester Cathedral. £4 with accompanied children free.
Battle of Worcester City Walks 1pm to 2.20pm outside the Guildhall. Free
Tuesday August 12:
Learning to Ring Bells 10am to 11.30am at Worcester Cathedral. £15
Brass Rubbing 2pm to 4pm at Worcester Cathedral. Free
Wednesday August 13:
The Elgar School of Music’s Coffee Concert 10.30am to 11.15am at St George’s Church, Barbourne. Free.
The Festival Players present The Comedy of Errors 7.30pm at The Swan Theatre. £15, concessions £11.
Thursday August 14:
Disney Dance Workshops, ages 6 to 10, 10am to 2pm at The Swan Threatre, Bransford Trust Studio. £8.
Friday August 15:
Hip-Hop Dance Workshop ages 11 to 16, 10am to 2pm at The Swan Theatre Bransford Trust Studio. £8.
Fancy Pants: A Celebration of Style 1920 – 1945 10.30am to 4.30pm at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum. Free.
Saturday August 16:
Worcester Artillery Day Parade midday to 1pm in the City Centre. Free.
Worcester Artillery Day 1pm to 5pm at Pitchcroft. Free.
For more information on the many events taking place across the 17 days, visit www.worcesterfestival.co.uk online.