Two new free family festivals have been announced for this summer, following the success of the appearance of children’s character, Mr Bloom.
Huge visitor numbers, positive feedback and an overwhelming thumbs up from traders at Blackburn’s recent Countryside Comes to Town festival has prompted organisers to invest additional money to increase the number of high quality, medium scale family events this summer aimed at attracting visitors and supporting local businesses.
BID Manager, Harriet Roberts explained, ‘The next scheduled BID funded event was the Blackburn Heritage Festival which is not until September. People can’t stop talking about the weekend, and despite the rain they had such a good time with Mr Bloom and the nature themed activities that we thought, ‘why wait until September?’ The huge number of visitors to Blackburn for the Countryside Comes to Town event showed there’s an appetite for family entertainment and shopping, so the BID team and their partners Hopeful and Glorious have decided to keep the ball rolling and create two more mini-festivals on two Saturdays over the summer.’
The Town Hall Street Fairs on Saturday 18 July and Saturday 15 August will take place alongside Blackburn library and feature a collection of curated arts and crafts stalls under gaily coloured, traditional market stalls on the pavements of one of the Blackburn’s oldest pedestrianized areas, once known as Thunder Alley. There will be an additional circle of stalls on King William Street which will provide an opportunity to showcase some of Blackburn Market’s popular traders and samples and tasters of other small businesses across the town.
Cultural entertainment will include a fairground organ, whilst stilt walkers and face painters will entertain children through the day. Continuing the artistic theme, the first Blackburn BID funded event on Saturday 18 July will feature a large scale pavement artist activity by a company called Urban Canvas. Using a 500 year old chalking technique, and introducing poster paints, artist’s pastels and pavement chalks, this installation aims to create a massive works of art on King William Street. Harriet explained, ‘Everybody gets the chance to take part in creating this piece, even those just passing by won’t be able to resist stopping to help for a moment, or popping back to see how things are going. The end result is a beautiful piece of art that everyone feels a part of!’
Pif Paf Arts will present two performances of outdoor street theatre called ‘Flycycle and Submercycle’ a cycle based street production combining movement, stories of travel, geography and the occasional pocket of turbulence.
Town Hall Street features some of the town’s oldest established and newest start-up businesses offering a diverse range of quality handmade and artist designed gifts, ceramics, paintings, cards and items for the home, two second hand bookshops, and a emporium of spiritual themed ephemera. Visitors can pick up a guide and map to the shops and businesses which also points them to some of the nearby independent food and drink outlets such as Liz n Lil’s, The Greedy Fox, Rebound, Muffins and BB1 for Life.
Other Blackburn town centre businesses wishing to showcase their products and services should contact Harriet Roberts at the Blackburn BID on 07850 959 898 to arrange a stand.