May 22 2013 Latest news:
By Laura Burge
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
AN ESTABLISHED festival which welcomes hundreds of people every year could run for the last time ever this spring
Walsworth Festival has been a popular event in the Hitchin calendar for the last few decades, and is usually held in May.
But organisers have warned that this year is likely to be the last, unless people come forward to keep it running.
A number of organisers will be retiring this year, and there are calls for people to put their names forward, or risk losing the festival.
Penny Mitchell, festival chairman, said: “This is the last chance, it’s up to the people now. If they don’t come forward or throw in solutions, we will have to call it a day.
“We’ve been trying for some time to get people to help. We have had some saying they want to help, then they never come back. It may be the last festival, which is sad.
“We have people past officially retirement age, and are finding it difficult to keep up with the amount of work that’s required.”
Organisers want to keep the festival local, and have said that they want the essence of the event to remain.
Leaflets distributed to 3,000 homes in the area and the festival programme will encourage people to sign up and save the day.
District and county councillor Ray Shakespeare-Smith, who is secretary on the committee, added: “We feel it is time for some new blood to come in and to get some younger people to keep it going.
“It’s quite arduous and quite a responsibility so we feel it’s about time we get new people on board.
“If the local community want it, which by attendance they seem to want to, then we need people to stand up and volunteer.”
This year’s festival is still on track, with charity stalls, local traders, children’s entertainment, side shows, arena events, and bands among the things on offer on Walsworth Common and St Faith’s Church.
The event will be held on Sunday, May 20 between 11am and 4pm. • If you think you can help save the festival then ring either Mrs Mitchell on 01462 459821 or Cllr Shakespeare-Smith on 01462 453823.