Aylesbury town centre was transformed into a riot of colour, noise and splendiferous sights, as thousands gathered for this year’s Roald Dahl Festival on Saturday (4 July).
The huge crowd watched as around 650 participants – mostly children and young people from across the Vale – took part in the phizz-popping festival parade, displaying larger than life puppets and original artworks inspired by our best-loved and world-famous author.
This year’s festival theme was The Twits, one of Roald Dahl’s most famous tales, and so the festival was packed with beards, Roly Poly birds and Muggle-wump monkeys. Families lined the streets in the sunshine for the parade, led by local samba bands and entertainers, then stayed on for crafts, cake, live music, inflatables, face painting and storytelling.
The festival, now in its 13th year, was organised by Aylesbury Vale District Council, with activities provided by St Mary’s Church, Queens Park Arts Centre, Jonathan Page Play Centre, Aylesbury Visitor Information Centre, Aylesbury Library, Bucks County Museum and Roald Dahl Children’s Gallery, and the Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre.
Councillor Angela Macpherson, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Communities and Civic Amenities, took part in the parade. She said: “It was a gloriously warm and sunny day, and everyone was having a fantastic time – from the children and young people showing off their artwork in the parade to the families lining the streets for the best view.
“We’re right to be proud of Roald Dahl’s links with this area, and to have found such a wonderful way to celebrate his words. As well as a fun day out for Vale families, it also encourages children to discover Roald Dahl’s books for themselves, and hopefully start a lifelong love of reading.”
Since the festival’s inception, bands have come from Oxford, Hitchin and London to perform in the spectacular festival. But this year was a particularly special year as it featured Aylesbury Vale’s very own Samba band Cidade Pato (Portuguese for “Duck City”).
The fledgling band was formed in early March of this year. Band members from all across the Vale have been meeting on a weekly basis with a view to getting up to speed for their debut gig at the festival.
Band member Liz Connick said: “After being apprehensive at the beginning it was great fun!”
The band comes together again for rehearsals in early September and meet on a Thursday night at Berryfields Community Centre. To find out more contact AVDC Communities on 01296 585301 or email email@example.com.