Events              Spring & Summer  2018




Following the highly successful launch of a new Art Fair for Hertfordshire in 2017, Herts Visual Arts (HVA) is back with their Big Art Fair for a second year during the ever-popular Hitchin Festival.

Run by and for HVA members: artists and designer-makers from across Hertfordshire will display their work at the newly refurbished Hitchin Town Hall Saturday and Sunday July 14th and 15th. Open to the public from 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sunday, a number of exhibitors will be at the Fair during the weekend, offering unique opportunities to meet the artists themselves.

Even bigger than last year’s event, the 2018 Big Art Fair features almost 60 2D and 3D artists and artisans. Catering for every taste, an exciting and enticing array of paintings, mixed media, printing, photography, textiles, ceramics, jewellery, sculpture, glass and more awaits visitors - all for sale. With options from greetings cards to larger statement pieces, original unique art alongside limited editions, there’s something for every pocket – a range of prices that won’t break the bank.

An exclusive Private View for Artists, Sponsors and invited guests in the evening of Friday 13th July will feature Sponsor’s Favourite Award presentations and also the 2018 Herts Open Studios Brochure Launch.  If you would like an invitation, please do get in touch. HVA welcomes further enquiries from potential sponsors.

New for this year is the ‘Visitors Vote’ award with a certificate going to the exhibitor whose nominated piece gets the most votes from visitors to the Big Art Fair.

HVA members Sharon Korek, Sandy Andrews, Laura Dunmow, David Harris and Sally Taylor have again been meeting regularly to plan details of this year’s event. "After the success of last year’s event, North Hertfordshire seemed ideal to again showcase the sheer variety of skills and creativity in our membership” explains Sally, a textile artist and illustrator, "This new venue is well matched to our expanded Art Fair, again taking advantage of the Hitchin Festival which always attracts so many visitors."

With the marketing put together by representational artist Laura and the display stands managed by visual artist Sandy, the second Fair again looks set to recreate the amazing atmosphere and excitement of 2017.

"We were just delighted by last year’s event, which prompted even more members to take part this year", HVA Chair Hillary Taylor confirms, "we have such a talented and committed group of HVA members who create and repeat events like this to bring an amazing and even wider range of art to the forefront and benefit our members too.”

Harpenden Carnival on 9 June 2018

THE HARPENDEN CARNIVAL 2018 is shaping up to be bigger than ever as Harpenden Town Council and the Harpenden Round Table bring the WILD WEST to Harpenden Common! With plenty of exciting cowboy-themed events and activities taking place throughout the day, there will be plenty to choose from and take part in for all the family!

This year the carnival will kick off with this PEGASUS LIFE PROCESSION parading down the High Street at 12 noon, led by the energetic RAMPAGE MAS CARNIVAL BAND AND LOCAL SCHOOLS. From 12.30pm, you can expect to see the Round Table Arena hosting acts including rope shows, line dancing workshops and an equestrian stunt show. A line-up of talented bands will feature on the ORACE CANCER TRUST STAGE throughout the afternoon playing Western Swing, Country and Rock, with a great selection of refreshment and food traders situated nearby.

This year the area of Common hosting the stage and food court will stay open later UNTIL 7PM to allow more acts to perform and the fun to go on even longer!

Ferret races and the annual SAVILLS DOG SHOW will also be taking place during the afternoon, with prizes awarded for a range of categories including ‘Waggiest Tail’ and ‘Scruffiest Mutt’! In addition, there will be a large range of activities specifically for kids, including the cowboy corner, Scotty’s Circus Workshop, inflatables and a beach play area.

ART ON THE COMMON will again be accompanying the Carnival on the Green Flag Award Winning Harpenden Common, so do not miss your chance to enjoy some of the fantastic artwork produced by talent local artists.

NEW MAYOR FOR HARPENDEN, Cllr David Heritage said: “Harpenden Town Council is extremely happy to once again be working in partnership with Harpenden Round Table to bring you Harpenden’s social event of the year.”

With so much taking place, you will be sure to find something exciting to see and do. Entry to the event is completely FREE, all thanks to the generosity of our sponsors, however volunteers will be about on the day collecting donations to go to the Round Table and the Mayor of Harpenden’s chosen charities: MIND, HERTFORDSHIRE ACTION ON DISABILITY, HERTS YOUNG HOMELESS, HARPENDEN MENCAP and THE ORACLE CANCER TRUST

For more information about the acts and for a map of the Carnival, pick up a programme from the Harpenden Town Council Information Point or the Harpenden Library. Programmes will also be available on the day from the information tent by the Baa Lambs Car Park.

‘Cultivate’ takes place over four days, at a variety of locations across the town, where there will be exhibitions, concerts, art installations, plays, poetry readings, creative workshops and events for everyone to enjoy and get involved.  A Trail Map is available to help plan your journey so you don’t miss a thing.

Cultivate Arts Festival is the brainchild of John Swain from Harpenden Churches Together, who commented: ‘The idea came from a similar event I’d seen when on holiday. I was excited by the idea of people from across the town coming together to share their enthusiasm for the arts. The theme that runs through all our events is ‘Beauty, Order and Abundance’  - so you’re in for a treat.’

Some of the highlights of the programme include imaginative and exciting installations. 

Enter the world of Narnia as the Methodist church on the High Street is transformed into a wonderland. There will be a promenade performance of ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ on Friday evening and two performances on Saturday.

At St John’s church in Southdown, an ambitious art installation will fill the space with colour and ribbons.  Based on the theme of the environment and our place within it, there will be an accompanying programme of inspiring walks, talks, music and wine.

In addition, a variety of art will be on show and on sale throughout the four days at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic church in Rothamsted Avenue and at Christ Church in Vaughan Road, with an art demonstration on Saturday afternoon. Try your hand at quilting at Cornelia’s coffee shop on Saturday morning. Come and join the dance performance and workshop at Christ Church on Saturday afternoon. Enjoy Harpenden Choral Society’s concert of sacred music in St Nicholas’ church on Saturday evening.

As a grand finale to the festival, there will be a music concert for everyone on Sunday evening at Our Lady of Lourdes catholic church.

Local artist Rory Browne who is part of the organising team adds: ‘We are thrilled with the variety of events on offer – there is sure to be something for everyone.’