10:20am Sunday 18th August 2013
By Gina Bebbington
NEXT weekend sees the return of an annual festival that has grown almost beyond recognition since it was launched in 1984.
Northwich Festival began life as a one-day event built around finding the town’s strongest man.
Now it fills four days with something for everyone, from music festivals, a casino night and motor cycle show to a giant car boot sale, ladies’ rugby tournament, extreme sports and zorbing.
And the Northwich strongman competition is still a key part of the festivities.
Sam Naylor, from the organising committee, said: “When we started it in 1984 it was just an idea to raise a little bit of money for Northwich Rugby Club, which was then Mid Cheshire College.
“It started off as Northwich Festival of Sport, was a one day thing on August Bank Holiday Monday and was built around the Northwich strongman event.
“We’ve never looked back since – it’s just grown.”
Based at Moss Farm, the festival is supported by Cheshire West and Chester Council, Brio Leisure and the Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, as well as a host of Northwich businesses.
The fun starts on Friday, August 23, with an independent living awareness day in the festival marquee, a 30-strong deaf choir and a whole host of family fun activities, followed by a casino night with a Rat Pack and Michael Bublé tribute artist.
Sam said: “Last year we introduced the independent living awareness day to make the festival more inclusive.
“We want to produce a festival that puts Northwich on the map, where there’s something for everyone.
“The beauty is that Moss Farm is a big site where you can accommodate a whole range of things.”
Saturday, August 24, will include a ladies’ rugby tournament, Northwich Motorbike Festival and the start of Northwich Music Festival with live music from Cheeky Monkey and Beaver in the evening.
Sunday, August 25, will see the continuation of Northwich Music Festival, with 14 local bands playing throughout the afternoon and evening.
Bank Holiday Monday is still the biggest day, with a car boot sale starting at 7am, a classic car show, Northwich Strongman competition and music from 15 acoustic bands playing from noon until late, as well as a range of other activities.
Sam said: “There’s no doubt that Northwich Festival is the best value for money event in the Northwich social calendar.”
Tickets for the casino night are £15, which includes a meal, entertainment and £5 of gambling chips.
Admission for all live music events throughout the festival is £5.
Admission to the festival site on Bank Holiday Monday is £5.
For more information visit northwich-festival.co.uk or ring Sam on 07772 611274.
Competitors can still enter the Northwich Strongman Contest. For more information ring Tim Wilding on 07795 624782.
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