What to do in Newbury this July
PUBLISHED: 12:22 01 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:22 01 July 2015
The West Berkshire town is surrounded by beautiful countryside, but you don't have to go far for enjoyment in July, says Sue Bromley
Newbury Waterways Festival
The festival, run by The Kennet & Avon Canal Trust, takes place on 25 and 26 July.
Here the theme is ‘Flower Power’ so expect to see a lovely flotilla of boats decked out in floral extravaganzas at the wharf. The Sunday is the ‘big day’, with trip boat Jubilee kept busy running trips, and the park filled with stalls and entertainment, all leading up to the popular duck race. See www1.katrust.org.uk.
Look out for an extraordinary mobile arts venue, The Floating Cinema, which will be visiting the festival on the return leg of a round trip through the locks from Brentford to Bristol.
The Floating Cinema will moor at Victoria Park, offering drop-in screenings of a new work by Floating Cinema artist-in-residence Yann Seznec, who will create a floating library of forgotten sounds with communities along the route of the outward journey. It will also premiere Somewhere’s new film ‘Repeat to Flourish’ – a visual odyssey of the Kennet and Avon Canal’s industrial past, subsequent decline and present day renaissance. All Floating Cinema events are free, but it’s wise to book in advance. See www.floatingcinema.info.
Newbury’s shopping centre hosts a summer series of events, starting with a street party on 4 July featuring live entertainment, Covent Garden-style acts, face-painting and exclusive offers from retailers. Download a Street Party Pass with the offers at www.shopatparkway.com.
The centre comes over all French on 11 July for Parkway En Provence with retailers such as PAUL & M&S exploring Gallic foodie treats for try a and hand massages from L’Occitane, tasters from Cafe Rouge, French mime artists, accordion players and a special caricaturist for the day.
Then it’s time for Proms at Parkway on 18 July, from 11am to 4pm in the Debenhams piazza. Appearing on stage will be local singer songwriter Emma Lawrence, Classical Reflection, vocalists from this year’s The Voice, and The Harmony Choir.
July sees six meetings here, including the fabulous Weathersbys Super Sprint Day on the 18th, when, straight after an impressive seven-race card, dance music greats DJ Fresh and Danny Howard take to the Party in the Paddock stage.
On 9 July it’s time for Proms in the Paddock (complete with picnic, should you wish) and there’s also racing on the Friday afternoon before the Weathersbys Super Sprint Day. Thursday, 23 July sees another evening meeting, this one is in aid of the NSPCC, with live comedy after the races.
For something a little different, the course offers free entry on Sunday, 26 July when a card only featuring purebred Arabian racehorses, The Dubai International Arabian Race Day. Entry maybe free, but visit www.DIAR2015.com, register and be there on the day and you could win a holiday in Dubai or a car.
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