Thursday, 11 August 2022

'Celebration' is theme of 25th youth festival

'Celebration' is theme of 25th youth festival

THE theme of this year’s Henley Youth Festival will be “Celebration” to mark its 25th anniversary.

About 40 people attended a launch night at the d:two centre in Upper Market Place for school representatives and parents to hear about this year’s events.

Co-chairwomen Kate Swinburne-Johnson and Jo Dickson said the theme was not just a celebration of the festival itself but also of all the children that have taken part over the years.

Alfie Hay, one of the founders, said: “The festival was started to celebrate the talents of our children and we want to continue to do that.

“We need teachers in schools to say to students, ‘you’re good at that and people would like to see it’.”

This year’s festival will run from March 10 to 18 and will include a special gala night at the Kenton Theatre featuring some of the performers from previous years either on stage or via video messages.

The gala will also showcase the results of some of this year’s schools workshops. Mrs Swinburne-Johnson said: “It’s amazing the festival has been going this long.

“We’re really hoping to inspire everybody in their creative endeavours and give them the opportunity to embrace the idea of celebration.”

The festival features art, music, performance and sporting activities for children from age four to 18.

Events include the Go Kids Run, Gig Night at Lovibonds and the Junior Proms at Shiplake College as well as the Senior Proms, Entertain, Sing and Dance evenings at the Kenton in New Street.

Every child in Henley will have the opportunity to try new activities thanks to the school workshops.

Deputy Mayor Lorraine Hillier, who attended the launch, said: “I’m delighted to support the youth festival — it’s great that it is in its 25th year, quite an achievement.”

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