Harleston gearing up for a fab festival week

An eclectic mix of literature, family fun, and music is set to be served up in the Waveney Valley this month for a landmark anniversary for a popular community festival.

The Harleston and Waveney Festival is set to celebrate its 10th birthday with a host of cultural and entertaining events - many of which will be free.

The week-long programme will kick-off on August 23 and will finish with an annual family fun day at the recreation ground on the bank holiday Monday.

This year's event will also mark the final year with Margaret Griffiths at the helm, who is set to stand down from the organising committee after five years as chair.

'I think it is a good all-round festival. There is something for everyone and we are pleased with the programme we have put together.'

'It has been a hectic five years and I hope I have moved the festival on and I hope someone else will come along and give it a big shake up and put new ideas in,' she said.

The festival chairman said the 2011 programme was again packed with variety and a number of high quality artistic performances, which has received financial backing from Harleston Town Council and Norfolk County Council.

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The week will begin with an evening celebrating the life of poet laureate Sir John Betjeman on August 23 at St John's Church, Harleston, which will include readings and a screening of his film, A Passion for Churches.

The headline act will be music from one of the world's best Beatles tribute acts, The Fab 4, who will be rocking out Archbishop Sancroft High School on August 25 from 7.30pm.

There will be a gardeners' question time on August 24, which will be aired on BBC Radio Norfolk, nature writer Richard Mabey will be talking at King George Hall on August 27 and the festival will culminate in a free fun day on August 29, including a flypast by the Red Arrows, Battle of Britain Memorial Flight and Sea King helicopter. A free weekend of live music will also take place at the Swan Hotel.

Margaret added: 'This year it has turned out to be a very good festival for children. There is a chocolate workshop and there is the Big Draw, with professional artists coming along.'

Tickets are available from 01379 851917 and 01379 852221.

For more information, visit www.harlestonandwaveneyfestival.co.uk

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