Big Day heralds Uckfield Festival week

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The Uckfield Festival launches next Friday with a theme which celebrates the close link between Uckfield Community Technology College and a school in Ghana by using the colours of the country’s national flag.

But as usual the Festival delivers very much more to visitors and people living in the town with events ranging from dance to an electric car grand prix; from children’s stories to rock, jazz and blues.

First event from 1pm on July 12 is an organ recital at Holy Cross Church where James Thomas plays music from Purcell to the present day and the church’s bellringers ring a quarter peal to start Festival Week.

The Uckfield Big Day dawns at 9am on July 13 when UckfieldFM broadcasts live inserts from Luxford Field. At 10am the town’s dogs strut their stuff at a fun dog show and the grand parade starts at UTCT from 1.30pm arriving at Luxford Field at about 2pm via the High Street.

Fine sculpture by College students is on show at Farley Farm on July 14 and the day then spirals into excitement with the Electric Car Grand Prix at TR Fastenings Car Park. Twenty schools with 12-strong teams compete with customised kit cars.

Adult storytelling can be enjoyed on Monday, July 15 followed by pre-school stories on Tuesday, the Festival Club in Luxford Lounge in the evening and Rocks Park’s young actors performing Bugsy Malone from 6.30pm.

On Wednesday there’s a ‘Miniatures Concert’ at Holy Cross and Lou Glandfield explores the blues in The Ashdown Room that evening.

Thursday, July 18 and it’s time for the Cavaleri String Quarter at St Margaret’s Church, Buxted organised by the Uckfield Music Festival with a change of tempo that evening for the Hotshots dancing Le Roc - free beginners’ lesson included!

If you fancy a bit of outdoor exercise on Friday, head for Buckham Hill, Shortbridge and come home via Lake Wood - seven miles in about three hours led by Brian Philips under the auspices of the Uckfield and District Preservation Society.

Saturday sees the Uckfield Art Trail Exhibition at the Civic Centre, (continuing from Friday,) Blues and Roots Festival at the Uckfield Club and Music Hall at Osborn Hall, Hempstead Lane.

Then the Festival winds down - still with tons of exciting things left to do. Brighter Uckfield Garden competiton winners open their gardens to visitors today and there’ll be a Funday on Sunday by churches in the town on Luxford Field with music, puppets and doughnut fishing.