Going bananas for Fairtrade’s cause

Paul Kerensa
Paul Kerensa

Burgess Hill Fairtrade’s annual Fairtrade & Freedom Festival will be showing its support for the campaign to abolish the unfair banana.

“We have another great programme of Festival events”, said Fairtrade Chair Robert Eggleston.

“And it gives us a great opportunity to get the Fairtrade message across. This year we are encouraging people to Stick with Foncho and buy Fairtrade bananas.”

The Burgess Hill Fairtrade and Freedom Festival starts on Friday, March 7, and runs to Sunday, March 16.

The grand opening, All This & Stand Up Too, is at the Martlets on Friday, March 7. It features an 80-strong Rock Choir from Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath. It is then followed by the musical talents of ex-Flying Pickets member Hereward Kaye and his band.

The second half of the show is given over to comedy with award winning scriptwriter turned stand-up Paul Kerensa and funny man Tony Vino.

The Dublin Legends (formerly of The Dubliners) perform at the Martlets on Saturday, March 8.

Other events include a showing of Amazing Grace – the story of Wilberforce’s campaign against the slave trade on Monday, March 10, at St Andrew’s Church.

Food has a high profile with a ‘Touch of Spice’ restaurant night at The Woolpack (Wednesday, March 12) and Fairtrade Pudding night (Thursday, March 13). Sophi Tranchell MBE, the Managing Director of Divine Chocolate, will be delivering a keynote speech to an invited audience.

Rock for Fairtrade on Friday, March 14, is the final of The One, a talent show for young bands and singers. Applications from across Mid Sussex have been received for the bands and singers competition, which was relaunched in 2013. The popular Festival Ceilidh returns with Festival band The Watch and there is a dance production called Dance the World at the Martlets on Saturday, March 15.

The Festival comes to an end on Sunday, March 16, at The King’s Church with Celtic, Classics and Cakes. This features virtuoso Celtic guitarist Tony McManus and members of the Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra.

Full details of all the events can be found on the festival website: www.burgesshillfreedomfestival.com.