Highlights of first Dronfield Arts Festival

Lanterns will be paraded through the streets of Dronfield in a new festival to celebrate the arts.

Thursday, 19th April 2018, 11:00 am
Patrick Monahan. Photo by Steve Ullathorrne.

Comedy, theatre, dance, and poetry will be among 60 family-friendly events rolled out over four days during the first bank holiday weekend in May.

Jackie Smith from FWD Motion, which is managing the festival, said: “The main aim of the festival is to showcase our local talents as well as putting on a festival for the community that appeals to all age groups. We have so many people involved from local schools to businesses old and new in Dronfield. We want as many people to be part of this weekend and hope to also welcome new visitors to our town.”

Lanterns made at workshops in the weeks running up to the festival will light the parade through town on Saturday, May 5. Jackie said: “The lanterns which are themed around woodland creatures, made from willow and tissue paper, will be lit with LED fairy lights to bring them to life! The parade will start at the bottom of Church Street, join High Street and finish at the barn where a spectacular light show and story “Primevera Calling” will be projected on to the walls of the barn. The project has been created and produced by the barn’s own resident artist John Sutcliffe.”

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Family favourite comedian Patrick Monaghan will be raising the laughs on Sunday, May 6, as part of an extensive UK tour. Other headline acts at Dronfield Arts Festival will be poet Ian MacMillan (Friday), dance troupe Dancedaze with a Michael Jackson themed show (Saturday) and theatre company Rumpus staging Treasure Island (Sunday afternoon and Monday evening).

Dronfield schoolchildren will be contributing their talents to the festival, with artwork and poetry from William Levick, choirs from Gorseybrigg and Dronfield Juniors and music from Holmesdale Infants. Other schools have also been involved in a photography competitions run by the Baptist Church.

Over the weekend the Baptist church will be open to view the winners of the schools competition and will also showcase the work of Chris Nowell, the blind veteran Peak District photographer. The Baptist Church is also putting on shows on the Friday and Saturday night.

Chesterfield Garland & Clog Dancers will be displaying their talents, there will be martial arts demos and the chance for children to try their skills in a circus workshop.

Wine tasting, whisky tasting and gin tasting sessions will take place at The Green Dragon.

The events and activities will take place at various venues including Dronfield Hall Barn, the Civic Hall theatre, The Peel Centre, Dronfield Library and The Forge.

Maria Smith is activities and interpretation manager at Dronfield Heritage Trust, a charity running Dronfield Hall Barn which is the host of the festival.

She said: “This is our last event funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund (who funded a four-year project to restore the barn and bring it into community use) before we become self-sustainable in the summer this year.

“People coming along to the festival and buying tickets are helping us keep the barn open to the public and continue to run events like this in the future.”

For more details, visit www.dronfieldartsfestival.co.uk