The booming voice of Uckfield’s new town crier signalled on Saturday (June 30) that the start of this year’s festival is just days away.
Mr Bedwell, from Ridgewood, resplendent in a blue and gold uniform, carried out his first public engagement to announce the beginning of the festival on Friday, July 6.
He ‘cried’ outside Hartfields, Bridge Cottage and the Civic Centre.
Here’s our guide to some of the festival highlights
The bells will ring out at Holy Cross Church to mark the start of Uckfield Festival 2018 on Friday.
The ten-day treat organised by volunteers each year includes family favourites such as The Big Day, spectacular children’s parade, Kit Car Grand Prix and Sunday Funday.
Other major events include a classic/historic car and bike rally where 45 vehicles from across the ages and 30 bikes will descend on the Luxford Field, and the festival’s grand finale – a picnic proms with fireworks.
The festival’s musical highlights will include jazz with young musicians from the Ridout family. Alexandra, who plays the trumpet, won the BBC Young Musician Jazz Award in 2016. Her brother Tom, who plays the sax and recorder, was runner-up in the same year.
There will also be music from the 1920s and 30s from the FB Pocket Orchestra, and an evening with the Ashdown Singers, whose programme includes music from the Great War era.
Also performing will be The Jar Family and Julia Titus as Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, and Faronel who will bring medieval and renaissance music to Bridge Cottage.
Drama and comedy
There will be drama, comedy, walks, 10K run, and the Festival Club too which includes performances each evening in the Luxford Lounge at the Civic Centre.
Some dates for your diary can be seen below. See more on the festival website where you can book tickets online. You can also book in person or by phone at Gale and Woolgar jeweller.
Friday, July 6, 1.30-3pm: A Dramatic Afternoon, Uckfield College Drama Clubs perform on the Bridge Cottage forecourt.
Saturday, July 7, 10am-4.30pm: The Big Day with 100 stalls and arena activity including fun dog show, outdoor circus theatre, Laser Quest, and a walkabout theatre performance.
Saturday, July 7, 1.30pm-2pm: Grand Children’s Parade which starts at Uckfield Community Technology College and arrives at the Luxford Field via the High Street at about 2pm.
Sunday, July 8, 10am-4pm: Classic/historic car and bike rally on the Luxford Field.
Sunday, July 8, 10am: Uckfield Lions 10K run for prostate cancer. Starts at Uckfield Rugby Club.
Tuesday, July 10, 7.30pm: Faronel Concert, medieval and renaissance music at Bridge Cottage.
Wednesday, July 11, 8pm: Ashdown Singers at Cornerstone Church, opposite the Applegreen Petrol Station.
Thursday, July 12, 2.30-5.30pm: Vintage Afternoon Tea at Bridge Cottage.
Thursday, July 12, 7.30pm: The Ridout family play jazz at The Cinque Ports Club.
Friday, July 13, 8.15pm: The Jar Family at Uckfield Civic Centre.
Saturday, July 14, 7.30pm: Bessie Smith, Empress of the Blues, at the Weald Hall, Uckfield Civic Centre.
Sunday, July 15, 10am warm up, 11am start: The Uckfield Grand Prix, TR Fastenings Car Park.
Sunday, July 15, 2-5pm: Sunday Funday at Luxford Field.
Sunday, July 15, 7pm: Festival Grand Finale – Picnic Proms Spectacular with Fireworks at Uckfield Rugby Club, Hempstead Playing Fields.
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