On your marks for Lichfield Festival

Family fun ready for the off.

The bunting’s up, rehearsals are underway and thirty hares and tortoises are under starter’s orders for this year’s Lichfield Festival. The city’s biggest annual arts event kicks off on Friday 7th July and there’s so much for the whole family to enjoy.

The fun starts at 2pm on Festival Friday (7th July) when 200 local school children will perform a Song Trail through the city, and street performers herald a week of free live entertainment on the Festival busking stages.

On Sunday 9th July, as part of FUSE Festival in Beacon Park, there’s a chance to enjoy an a capella song performance: City Sing features choirs from around the region, led by Birmingham-based Vocal Point, in songs for individual choirs and a sing-along of new work and world music. Admission is free.

The city will be buzzing with #TeamHare and #TeamTortoise as this year’s festival mascots celebrate the classic tale of the Hare and the Tortoise. There’s a FREE trail to follow around the city with clues to make sure you find all the beautifully painted and decorated models created by local schools, community groups and businesses.

There are lots of shows for families to look forward to during the festival including a staged adaptation of David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon and the brilliantly improvised Showstoppers Kids Show which takes the kids’ ideas and turns them into marvellous musical adventures right before your eyes. Older children will be enchanted by Ballet Cymru’s adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Free exhibitions include imaginative superhero characters, dreamed up by local children and community artists; Hear My Voice project’s community archive of stories and photos on the theme of journeys; and Jane Austen’s world – a serene indoor garden at Stowe Pool Boat House created by festival partners Luxmuralis.

A perennial favourite, the Florette Festival Market, is back with 130 stalls, refreshments, activities and live performances on Saturday 8th July and there’s a tea party on Saturday 15th on the Cathedral lawns with live entertainment, toe-tapping dance styles to try and of course, the charity auction of the Hares and Tortoises.

This year’s Lichfield Festival runs from 7th-15th July with a vibrant mix of music, theatre, film, comedy, author talks, family events and visual arts, offering something for everyone. Headline performers include Rich Hall, Seth Lakeman, The Halle Orchestra, Sir Tony Robinson, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Black Voices and the Lichfield Gospel Choir. For more information visit www.lichfieldfestival.org

Pic: Steve Ullathorne