So, here we are, well into September, and the excitement is building in anticipation of the new Knaresborough AutumnFest. This Festival will be a celebration of our Town: its natural beauty, its long history, its talented people and vibrant community. We will look at the past, enjoy the present and take a peek into the future!
AutumnFest will run over 2 days on Saturday 28th September from 09.30h to 17.00h & Sunday 29th September from 10.00h to 16.00h coinciding with the UCI Races across the Harrogate District. The races will be screened throughout the 2 days on a Big Screen in Knaresborough Market Place, and, in between races, there will be plenty of activities in locations across the town to keep you entertained and informed!
Be impressed as artist James McKay paints a reconstruction of the Castle as it appeared in the 14th Century, or join a scary promenade theatre performance of The Vampire Experiment.
But be warned, Knaresborough may be a quiet market town by day; but by night something seethes beneath the streets. Be prepared to risk your very soul in order to cast the light of science onto a shrouded past!
And, if you need a little light relief, there will be music and dance to entertain. From Medieval Musicians in St Robert’s Cave and music from the time of Blind Jack near the Station to more contemporary music with Knaresborough Choral Society and Knaresborough Silver Band. Or, watch Claro Sword dance the Yorkshire Longsword Tradition in Castlegate, and our own Studio 3 Dance Workshop in a beautiful setting on the Castle bowling green. Don’t pass up the chance for children and/or adults to ‘have a go’ at maypole dancing!
But, you mustn’t miss ‘Our Town, Our Stories', Knaresborough’s first Pop-Up Town Museum and Art Gallery in the Centre on Gracious Street (COGS). So many people have been involved in this project, and you can expect a unique experience.
There will also be games and activities for children. And if you feel you need a sit down at any time, you can go upstairs and enjoy any of the talks about the famous characters in Knaresborough’s long history, such as John Metcalfe (Blind Jack) or St Robert. Or learn about Knaresborough Forest, what it has been, what it is now, and the important role it could play in our immediate future and beyond.
Of course, cycling plays a huge part in the event. On Waterside you can take a cycle-bus for a trip along Abbey Road, or enjoy an hilariously different experience on a conference bike. Up in the Market Place meanwhile, there will be ‘wobbly bikes’ providing fun for kids.
And, if you have an old bike or two languishing, forgotten and forlorn in your garage, you can push it up to Pedalheads on Castlegate and Rob’ll fix it. You will only have to pay for parts, but Rob reserves the Right to say your rescue is beyond the scope of this scheme!
Ever wanted to try your hand at Archery? Now is your chance! Take a walk down to St John’s Fields, and, under the watchful eye of trained archers, adults and children can have a go for a small fee of £5, which goes to the Charity.
While you are down there, Knaresborough Old Ticket Office Cafe at the Station has a Family Fun Day on Saturday, so be sure to call in. And on your way back pop into the Cafe and Art at the Hub @ St John’s.
Early on Saturday evening join a performance at the Hub @St Johns, where Mimesis will present an Ode to Autumn through an intercultural performance of dance and poetry inspired by their roots in South Asian culture.
Children and adults alike mustn’t miss ‘Knaresborough in Miniature’ at Knaresborough House. This is a working model railway within Knaresborough Town in miniature, and is enchanting! All-day on Saturday and Sunday.
Oh, and we haven’t even started on the walks. Gorge walks, Nature Reserve Walks, Kids Walks and Town Walks. You can even walk with a Hermit and embark on a pilgrimage for a merry walking tour through Knaresborough, learning about its history and the life of fellow hermit, St Robert!
And, after all that activity, you can treat your mind, body and spirit with a free class of Tai Chi at the Castle, overlooking the beautiful Nidd Gorge.
Best of all, most of the events are free (although you will find a few tins being shaken for voluntary contributions!), and some carry a small fee.
The new programme will also be on this site in the next few days with full details of each event, and available round Town over the coming week. Some of the activities such as the Vampire Experiment and walks have limited numbers for your safety, but you can pre-book activities marked with an asterisk on the Programme to reserve your place.
And there is so much more, so watch out for the Programme and plan to be at the AutumnFest for the whole weekend to make sure you don’t miss anything!
This event has been supported by many groups and organisations, including the Town Council and Knaresborough Lions
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