Arts Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary

An arts festival in Shrewsbury is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a host of exhibitions, workshops, music events and trails.

A previous Belle Vue Arts Festival
A previous Belle Vue Arts Festival

The annual Belle Vue Arts Festival gets underway on Saturday (3) with a "Let's Celebrate" free event based around Greyfriar's Bridge, Coleham.

The family event from 11am until 3pm will have live music, themed stalls, games, competitions, art and craft activities and, organisers promise, lots of fun.

For the next fortnight the community will be busy with a wealth of events.

The festival was the brain child of Judy Townsend, a former teacher and Mayoress of Shrewsbury.

In 2003, Judy, along with the help of friends and local artists got together to create an inspiring week of arts events for the local community of Belle Vue.

"Now, twenty years later, the festival continues through the efforts of a small group of committed volunteers and a wide network of supporters," a spokesperson said.

"Over the years, the Belle Vue Arts Festival has widened its scope to include most of the arts, including photography and music as well as other community activities such as history walks and competitions. Our vision is to offer art inspired events for the Belle Vue community and beyond."

Organisers say the festival relies solely on local fundraising through event sales, to keep it self-sustaining on what still is a minimal budget.

"We therefore would like to say a big thank you to our community and local businesses and organisations for their generous and ongoing support.

"In particular we would like to thank Coleham Primary School, The Hermitage Centre, for allowing us to use their premises year round and selling our trail tickets along with Coleham Sandwich Bar and House Coffee as well as local churches and other organisations, for allowing us to use their facilities."

Over the weekend of June 10/11 there will be an arts and scarecrow trail around the community as well as a photography exhibition in The Hermitage Centre and on the Sunday an open gardens event.

Throughout the fortnight there are also drop in and draw and other arts sessions, an open mic night and poetry and prose evening, mobile phone photography, pub trail and a quiz and much more.

All the information for events are available online at

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