The Darlington Arts Festival is expected to make a welcome return to the city this weekend, after last year’s event was canceled due to the pandemic.
A multitude of activities and events will take place in the city center from Friday September 24 to Monday September 27: Gothic writing workshops, live music, poetry readings, exhibitions and even the possibility of building a replica of the city clock.
The centerpiece of the festival is a marquee in the market square which will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. from Friday to Sunday and will host around 40 craft stalls.
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Buyers will have the chance to start their Christmas shopping early or purchase a unique gift for someone special. Free arts and crafts activities and exhibitions will also be offered.
Other events and activities will take place across town at venues such as the Forum, Friends Reunion House, Racecourse, Majestic Theater, Head of Steam Museum and Cornmill Mall.
The flags will fly on the first day of the festival with a free semaphore session and a flag-making session in the marquee.
Other free events include music in the market hall, jazz and Peruvian music in the market square, poetry readings on High Row, film screenings and film activities at Guru Boutique and the Friends Meeting House, the construction of the clock tower on Saturday and a free dance performance on Sunday.
Theater-goers can pay what they decide on at a Green Theater performance of Under Milk Wood at the Friends Meeting House on Friday while tickets are on sale for the thriller The Cat and the Canary at Darlington Racecourse and musical performances at the Forum Music Center.
Craft workshops include printing on lino, make your own lampshade with Gillian Arnold, and there is a range of writing and poetry workshops throughout the weekend.
Young people can enjoy crafts under the marquee as well as Little Learners sessions at the Cornmill Center.
The weekend coincides with birthday celebrations at the Head of Steam Railway Museum where kids can enjoy arts and crafts activities. The last day of the festival sees the opening of a free photography exhibition at the Crown Street Library with local work from the Darlington Association of Photographers
The advisor, Alan Marshall, a member of the Darlington Economic Council Cabinet, said: “Darlington has always enjoyed a thriving arts scene and I am delighted that we are able to support this Arts Showcase Weekend and activities.
“There really is something for everyone and I encourage people to check out the full program to see what’s on offer and get involved.”
Darlington for Culture President Jo Potter added, “The council has recognized the benefits and success of other regional arts events in drawing people to downtown areas. Darlington for Culture appreciates the council’s significant investment in the festival and we look forward to securing its place on the city’s calendar of events. ”
Find the full program of events on darlingtonforculture.org
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