Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy looks ahead to the garden city’s inaugural Arts Takeover this weekend

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column.

Letchworth BID manager Tom Hardy talks all things garden city in his weekly Comet column. - Credit: Archant

This week’s focus is a brand-new event for the town centre – the Letchworth Arts Takeover, this Saturday from 10am to 6pm.

Back in January, when we first explored the concept, we were surprised at the huge number of arts-related people in Letchworth.

After making contact, we were able to pull together this amazing talent to bring you a high-quality and free one-day event.

This weekend will see arts, crafts and food stalls at the top end of Leys Avenue with a funfair at the bottom.

In the Arcade, The Party Hut will be doing glitter tattoos and face painting, while Alice & Chicks hold knitting and crochet classes.

The main performing arts stage outside The Platform pub at the corner of Eastcheap and Leys Avenue will play host to a wide variety of acts such as an acoustic guitarist, a jazz band, street dancers, a magic show, poetry performance, a musical theatre group, a folk band and children’s theatre.

Kicking off proceedings with an official-ribbon cutting at 10am will be the acclaimed artist Sarah Graham, who will then head over to the Imperial Arts Studio in Station Road for a talk at 11am.

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In Leys Square, next to Esquires Coffee House, the Garden Square Shopping Centre has kindly arranged storytelling in a giant inflatable whale, entertainment from Aquabatics and close-up magic from magician Bailey Barnham.

For something completely different, head down to the independent shopping centre that is The Wynd, where you’ll find the Poetry and Comedy Stage. The Poetry Society will be performing from 10am to 12 noon, followed by a packed programme of comedy.

Trying out new material ahead of the Edinburgh Fridge Festival will be comedians such as Daniel Cook, Thom Tuck and Norman Lovett from Red Dwarf.

As if that wasn’t enough, there will be a town-wide Arts Trail showcasing the fantastic variety of arts and crafts outlets in the town centre.

The Arts Trail map will be available in the Tourist Information Centre and handed out around the town.

Once you complete the trail, don’t forget to hand it back into the Tourist Information Centre to be in with a chance of winning a £50 hamper kindly donated by the Wildwood restaurant in Eastcheap.

The Letchworth BID, which is funded and led by the town centre businesses, has worked hard to make this free community event possible.

I am delighted that we have managed to engage so many great businesses in this event to highlight not just the arts in Letchworth but the growing business community in our fantastic town centre.

For more see loveletchworth.com, email Tom at bid@loveletchworth.com, or follow Love Letchworth on Facebook and Twitter