Burgess Hill’s Summer Festival offers fun for the whole family

The countdown has started to Burgess Hill’s Summer Festival, which begins on Saturday, June 6, and runs until Sunday, June 14.

A total of 64 events will take place during the nine-day festival, 43 of them free of charge.

The festival kicks off on the Saturday with free family entertainment from 11am at the To the Beach Fun Day in the town centre, plus a chance to handle exotic reptiles and other creatures at Wild About Mid Sussex, from 10am in the Festival Marquee in St John’s Park. The superb Kate’s Kitchen Band will have everyone on their feet at the Festival Barn Dance in the Marquee from 7pm.

On Sunday, June 7, the Festival Marquee will host Mabel’s Pop-Up Vintage Fair from 10am and Classics in the Park with Burgess Hill Symphony Orchestra at 6pm.

There are many free after-school activities for kids and young people. These include a Puppet Making Workshop with Brighton-based Long Nose Puppets and a Chess Challenge with Burgess Hill Junior Chess. You can learn how to make fake blood and wounds with theatrical make-up artists from Burgess Hill Theatre Club, and hear John Cooper from the Booth Natural History Museum talk about the dinosaurs that once roamed the Burgess Hill area (with a chance to see real dinosaur bones).

Older residents can enjoy Mocktails at the Hawaiian Party and Royal Birthday Celebration at Age UK’s Cherry Tree Centre. Families are welcome too.

There are various festival walks, free Slofooty and Golf taster sessions, the annual Burgess Hill Bike Ride and an evening Wildflower Walk at Bedelands Nature Reserve.

People can admire the handiwork of local artists at Burgess Hill Artists Exhibition and marvel at the woodworking skills on display at Sussex Woodcraft Society’s Wonderful World of Wood.

There will be a variety of music on offer for all musical tastes with traditional jazz icon Chris Barber and his BIG Band, Sussex Harmonisers male voice choir, Mid Sussex Brass Band, and All the Right Notes community choir.

Dust off your dancing shoes for a night of live rock ’n’ roll with Archie Deacon and the Bishops and Micky Hart and the Hartbrakers, and the return of the Party in the Park with local bands covering six decades of music.

Other events include Barnstormers Comedy Club, evening events with prize-winning novelist Alison MacLeod and an illustrated talk by local historian Fred Avery on the Victoria Pleasure Gardens.

The festival concludes with a Summer Fayre in St John’s Park on the final Sunday.

The festival programme is available from Burgess Hill Town Council’s Help Point, Burgess Hill Library and other community venues around the town. The full programme can also be viewed here.

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