Thursday, 23 September 2021

19-day festival set to finish with village fete

THE Wargrave Village Festival will draw to a close this weekend after 19 packed days.

THE Wargrave Village Festival will draw to a close this weekend after 19 packed days.

Carry on Wargrave kicked off on Wednesday, June 12 with Shakespeare on the Green. Love’s Labour’s Lost was performed over four evenings at Mill Green and was attended by 740 people.

Last weekend, more than 400 people attended a family fun day at the Recreation Ground despite it being very windy.

Highlights included zorbing, a mega-slide, assault course and a clay pigeon shooting tournament.

Organiser Bob Atkinson said: “It was a shame that the sun didn’t shine but all the activities were well used and there were no injuries.

“The 25 to 30mph winds did stint a higher turnout but as the event was focused on the kids of Wargrave having a great time, the mission was accomplished.”

More than 600 people went to the Taste@Wargrave Festival at Mill Green on Saturday. A wide range of food was on display, including cheeses, pickles, preserves, confectionery, cakes, chocolates, breads, pies and pâtés.

There were demonstrations by Andy Jones of Really Nice Cakes and Ryan Simpson of Orwells restaurant in Shiplake.

Organiser Dave Smith said: “It was really great to have the opportunity to meet and talk to local producers, not to mention the chance for some free samples! We will definitely be back at the next festival in two years’ time.”

The festival marquee was packed with 360 people for Paul Daniels’ sell-out show Another Magical Evening featuring his wife Debbie McGee.

Organiser Michael Porter, honorary chairman of the Wargrave, Twyford and District branch of the RNLI, said: “It went extremely well and everybody enjoyed it.

“Paul Daniels had a lot of people up on stage and was very playful. He also got a couple of children to help with his tricks. We are still adding up but we think the evening raised around £3,700.”

Earlier in the festival, children at Piggott infant and junior schools enjoyed performances of The Firebird by Gill Nathanson and Bill Buffery, from the Multi-Story Theatre Company.

The show was a combination of storytelling with paper costumes and songs on accordion and guitar. Headteacher Sally Akers said: “The children loved seeing live theatre — it inspires them and gives them an enriching experience that’s quite different from watching a screen. The show was very dramatic and had a real international feel.”

The Mamma Mia event once again proved popular, with the added twist this year of “Butlers in the Buff” who served drinks and canapés.

About 100 people donned fancy dress to enjoy the sing-a-long evening.

The final events taking place this weekend include the festival ball, the village fete at Mill Green tomorrow (Saturday), a flower festival and art exhibition. For more information, visit www.wargrave villagefestival.co.uk

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