Festival fun in Batley

BATLEY town centre will be the place to be tomorrow (Sat) as the firstever Batley Festival gets underway.

Organised by volunteers with the support of Kirklees Council, the inaugural festival runs between 11am and 4pm and features a superb lineup of entertainers, shows, musicians, stalls and activities for everyone to enjoy.

Everyone is invited to visit the town centre to celebrate and enjoy the best of Batley.

Local boy Billy George, the acrobatic artist who reached the semifinals of Britain’s Got Talent, will be visiting the festival to sign autographs and meet the crowds from 12.30pm.

The official launch of the festival takes place in the Market Place at 11am, hosted by compere, magician and musician Mike Hancock. 

After the opening there’s fastmoving comedy from Maniax, Manasamitra’s new street theatre show ‘Sizzle’, plus performances from HMS Punafore, Balloonatics and the Lollipop Ladies.

There will be more than 30 stalls in Batley Market Place and Batley Town Hall representing many local voluntary groups, charities and businesses.

Many town centre landmarks will be involved in the festival, with Batley Library and Art Gallery hosting a children’s story event with ‘Megan’s Rainbow Fun Time’ plus a performance by Batley poet Ahmad Lunat OBE, accompanied by Batley children. 

Upstairs in the art gallery visitors can view an exhibition called ‘Marking Time: A Century of Drawing in Art Education’ while younger ones can design a flag for Batley.

Wellknown local historian Malcolm Haigh will also be entertaining the crowds with a ‘Famous Batley People’ talk.

Fun activities in the nearby Memorial Garden include a climbing wall, face painting, henna tattoos, small animals from Ponderosa Farm, birds of prey, tai chi sessions, the Yorkshire Supremes Majorettes and a ‘football speedshot’ game.

As well as multisport activities at Batley Baths there’ll also be a day for dancers at Batley Town Hall. 

Between 11am and 12.30pm people can enjoy festival tea dancing then from 1pm workshops begin, with Irish, rock & roll, freestyle and Bollywood dance classes available.

Festivalgoers can join in with ‘Hoot’ singing and drumming workshops and The Marvellous Tea Dance Company will be serving tea and cakes from 11am to 4pm.

In the evening a variety show takes place at Batley Town Hall from 7.30pm as a finale to the day’s festivities.

The show will feature performances from Batley Girls’ High School, Howden School Of Theatre Dance, Becci Lee, St Mary’s Theatre Group and Songsational. 

Tickets priced £5 and £2.50 will be available on the day of the festival.

For more information follow @batleyfestival on Twitter.

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