Letchworth Festival kicks off with live music, stalls and sports in the sun

Three-year-old Willow Egett enjoys the tennis.
Picture : Karyn Haddon.

Three-year-old Willow Egett enjoys the tennis. Picture : Karyn Haddon. - Credit: Archant

The Letchworth Festival kicked off with a buzz at the weekend with a sewing bee, live music, sports and much more in the hot weather.

Peta Blackham enjoys the fairground ride.
Picture: Karyn Haddon.

Peta Blackham enjoys the fairground ride. Picture: Karyn Haddon. - Credit: Archant

The two-week festival started on Saturday, with a fizzing atmosphere in the sun as community groups from across the garden city manned stalls along Leys Avenue, The Arcade and The Wynd.

Amron’s House of Fashion in The Arcade marked the opening day with a colourful Great Letchworth Sewing Bee contest.

And the occasion was also marked in The Wynd with anniversary celebrations for the Garden City Brewery and the Kattz Kidz nursery at the corner of Station Road, which both formally opened at the start of last year’s festival.

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Festival chairwoman Akua Obeng-Frimpong told the Comet: “I think the opening day was an overall success. I spent a lot of time circulating among all the stallholders.


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“People really liked the atmosphere, our live acts in The Wynd were very well received, and Artisan Ladder was really bustling with their live demonstrations. LALG shifted a lot of the books at their book swap, too.

“It was a really positive day. The sun was shining and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.”

North Herts District Council chairman Alan Millard cuts the ribbon for the one-year anniversary of t

North Herts District Council chairman Alan Millard cuts the ribbon for the one-year anniversary of the opening of Kattz Kidz in Letchworth, helped by Heritage Foundation governor Camilla Hamilton. Owners Adebola and Kofo Ibitoye look on. Picture: Alan Millard - Credit: Archant

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The Garden City Brewery, which has just been named Best Newcomer in the Hertfordshire Food & Drink Awards, proudly displayed its award on the bar as the team marked their first anniversary with music and a beer garden barbecue.

Brewery supremo Holly-Anne Rolfe posted on Instagram afterwards: “Thank you Letchworth for an awesome birthday party! So amazing to see so many of you down here today – music, grub, bonhomie, cards and balloons! All incredible. Thank you and goodnight!”

Over at Kattz Kidz, also marking its first birthday, North Herts District Council chairman Alan Millard was on hand to cut a ribbon alongside Heritage Foundation governor Camilla Hamilton.

Scientists from the University of Hertfordshire will be bringing their inflatable planetarium to the

Scientists from the University of Hertfordshire will be bringing their inflatable planetarium to the Letchworth Festival - Credit: Archant

Highlights yet to come during the Letchworth Festival fortnight include charity fundraisers, a stage show about pioneering comics Monty Python, and the University of Hertfordshire’s new inflatable planetarium – the biggest in the UK.

The six-metre-high planetarium will be in Broadway Gardens from Friday to Sunday from 12 noon to 7pm. Tickets are available in advance or on the door, subject to availability – it’s £5 each or free for children under 14.

University of Herts scientist Dr Mark Gallaway said: “Rather than people having to visit the observatory, we can now bring the solar system and galaxy to them.”

This Saturday at 6pm, the North Herts Interfaith Forum is holding a concert of classical Sikh music and martial arts, dancing and more at the Broadway Cinema, with proceeds going to the foodbank serving Letchworth, Baldock and Hitchin.

The same evening, there is a fundraising auction from 8pm at the Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre off Norton Way South.

Stage shows on during the festival include the Settlement Players’ production of No Naughty Bits – telling the story of Monty Python’s battle with censorship in the United States – at the Settlement from Thursday to Saturday this week.

There’s also SPADS’ The Vicar of Dibley at the Broadway Theatre next weekend, June 23 and 24.

The festival will culminate with Proms in the Park, a lively showcase of garden city talent in Howard Park, all day on Sunday, June 25.

To find out more and peruse the many things on offer over the next two weeks, see letchworthfestival.com.

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