Tamworth Borough Council’s Arts and Events team has unveiled its biggest ever programme of outdoor events, promising an exciting jam-packed year of fun activities for the whole family.
The 2016 calendar includes the return of all the popular favourites, such as St George’s Day celebrations, outdoor cinema, We Love Tamworth, Fireworks and Christmas lights switch-on, as well as some fantastic new events.
This year there will also be an extended line-up of summer bandstand concerts in the Castle Grounds to provide added entertainment while Tamworth Assembly Rooms undergoes its modern makeover. A variety of bands and groups are on the bill, including musicians, bands, actors and singers.
Tamworth Borough Council’s Deputy Leader, Cllr Robert Pritchard, said, “This year the Arts and Events team is again pulling out all the stops to put on what is probably the biggest ever programme of outdoor entertainment for Tamworth people. Last year’s extended programme of outdoor events, organised as part of the I Am Tamworth project, attracted almost 92,000 people and we are hoping to build on that this year.
“Providing a high quality Arts and Events programme is one of our priorities as a council, both in terms of offering entertainment to local residents and in boosting the town centre economy. As well as providing family friendly fun, these events bring visitors to Tamworth, who in turn use our local shops and services.
“The Arts and Events team has been able to secure a wide range of events and activities, with something to suit everyone, and we hope people will save the dates and join in the fun again this year.”
The outdoor events programme kicks off in earnest with Sport Relief on Sunday March 20, when people of all ages are encouraged to step out for Tamworth as part of the national campaign to raise life-changing money for communities at home and abroad.
The biennial Tamworth Sport Relief event again sets off from the Castle Grounds and has one, three and six-mile options available, so runners and walkers of all fitness levels can join in. Anyone interested can sign up online at www.sportrelief.com.
This will be followed by the ever-popular St George’s Day extravaganza, which this year falls on St George’s Day itself on Saturday April 23. The annual festival is one of the highlights of the town calendar and draws visitors from across the country.
As well as festival favourites such as the grand medieval joust, walkabout characters, archery and living history encampment, this year also has some new additions in the form of an amazing realistic-looking six-foot animatronic dragon from the makers of the popular Game of Thrones TV series, a St George’s Day parade of Tamworth Scouts and a new Children’s Zone.
An outdoor theatrical treat will be served up in the Castle Grounds on Saturday July 2 when multi award-winning open-air theatre company Illyria celebrates 100 years of Roald Dahl with its interpretation of the classic story Danny the Champion of the World.
More outdoor theatre performances in various locations will be confirmed later in the year.
Saturday July 2 also marks the start of a summer of free performances from the bandstand taking place on weekends in July and August and boasting an impressive line-up including Amington Band, The Jays, Tamworth Arts Club, Tamworth Wind Band,
Brindley Hunt, Tamworth Voices, 58 Blues Band, The Glamophones, Liquid Brass and a circus skills workshop.
Other summer entertainment includes an interactive storytelling performance during the afternoon of Saturday August 13, ahead of the return of the hugely popular Outdoor Cinema in the evening.
The We Love Tamworth family festival takes place on Saturday September 3. Crowds can again expect a jam-packed day of fun for the whole family with activities including performers, Saxons, a Children’s Zone, fairground rides, a strong man competition, community stalls, music and much more.
Bonfire Night will go off with a bang this year as not only does Tamworth’s biggest free Fireworks event celebrate its 10th anniversary, but it also falls on Saturday November 5, so crowds can expect another amazing and breathtaking display of pyrotechnics lighting up the skies above the Castle Grounds.
The packed programme ends with the Christmas Lights Festival, which will see the town marking the start of another festive season on Sunday November 20.
And if all that wasn’t enough, there’s also a fantastic line-up of events taking place in the Castle Grounds in addition to those organised by Tamworth Borough Council.
These include three different circuses which will be coming to the town in May, August and October, an orienteering event on May 2, a series of summer Games in the Park sessions organised by Tamworth’s Community Together CIC, the Stars and Stripes Line Dancing event on September 10, the second Tamworth Food Gusto Festival to be held on September 10 and 11 and regular appearances of the funfair.
As well as the Sport Relief Mile, the town will also host the Gate Gallop at Anker Valley fields on June 26, the Tamworth 10K Run on October 9 and the St Giles Pudding and Plod Run on December 4.