Family fun and free events at Lichfield Festival

Puppet parade to head festival highlights.

A parade of giant animal puppets is set to march through the streets of Lichfield to mark the opening weekend of the 2018 Lichfield Festival which runs from 4th-14th July.

Crowds are expected to line the route on Saturday 7th July as the puppets, which have been created by local groups working with professional artists, wind through the city accompanied by music from local performers. The Festival Animal Puppetry Parade sets off at 6pm from Market Square.

The procession finishes at the Cathedral where the evening’s concert sees local young musicians and singers join forces with Chetham’s School Symphony Orchestra to enact the story of Noah and his ark in Benjamin Britten’s children’s opera Noye’s Fludde. The concert also includes a centenary performance of Holst’s much-loved suite, The Planets, with its famously menacing Mars, Bringer of War and exciting Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity.

Earlier in the day, there’s a chance soak up the atmosphere as the Florette Festival Market takes over Cathedral Close, Pool Walk and Dam Street with over 130 stalls from local crafters and food producers along with live entertainment and activities throughout the day.

Lichfield Festival begins on Wednesday 4th July with a free event in the outdoor setting of the National Memorial Arboretum, Alrewas. Trench Brothers commemorates the contributions of ethnic minority soldiers during the First World War. It features professional performers, including MOBO-nominated jazz singer Cleveland Watkiss, stunning puppetry and support from 120 local schoolchildren.

Another free event is Pop-Up@lichfieldfest on Saturday 14th July, when performers will take over unusual spaces across the city – from shops to corridors and waiting rooms.

One of the region’s premier cultural events, Lichfield Festival draws around 40,000 visitors annually with its trademark mix of music, theatre, comedy, dance, talks and fun for the whole family. Highlights include Strictly Come Dancing stars Neil and Katya Jones, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, comedians Tom Allen and Mark Steel, restaurant critic and jazz pianist Jay Rayner, Ballet Cymru, The Malachites, Fascinating Aida star Liza Pulman’s Liza Sings Streisand, international soprano Lucy Crowe with La Nuova Musica and folk singers Kris Drever and Julie Fowlis.

There’s also a celebration of Bernstein and Gershwin and a series of events celebrating #ExtraordinaryWomen through music, theatre, literature and film.

For more information visit or phone 01543 412121.