THE sun is shining, the sky is blue, and Gloucestershire has a whole host of events and activities going on this weekend guaranteed to get the whole family smiling. So what are you waiting for?
1 - Festival of British Eventing, Gatcombe Park
Take the family to HRH the Princess Royal’s Gatcombe Park Estate, which is playing host to a weekend of top class eventing, with many of the sport’s top names taking to the saddle. As well as the British Open, there is a shopping village, arena attractions and entertainment for the whole family.
The event runs from Friday until Sunday. Day tickets cost £10-£20, weekend tickets £36-£38 and family tickets from £36-£114. Visit www.gatcombe-horse.co.uk or buy tickets on the gate.
2 - Giffords Circus, Frampton-on-Severn
The brilliant Giffords Circus gallops into Frampton-on-Severn this weekend with its wonderful new show for 2014.
‘The Thunders’ is a wonderful rampage through ancient Greece and brings with it plenty of action, colour, music – and even a few animals! A real treat of a show, Giffords Circus is takes its audience back in time, with a live band, gaily painted wagons and proper, old fashioned refreshments for sale.
Giffords Circus is at Frampton-on-Severn Village Green until Monday, August 4. Tickets cost £14 for children and £22 for adults.
3 - Gloucestershire Steam & Vintage Extravaganza, Cirencester
Stroud Vintage Transport & Engine Club stage their 40th Annual Show at South Cerney Airfield on the outskirts of Cirencester in Gloucestershire this weekend.
There is non-stop steam action in the Steam Arena, Model aircraft displays, both in the air and on the ground, a Countryside Arena, with ferrets to shire horses, trade stands, licensed bars, a fairground, tractors, commercial vehicles, vintage bus and coaches, motorcycles, miniature steam, industrial trucks, classic cars, emergency vehicles, and so much more!
The event runs until Sunday. Day tickets cost from £4 to £6. Weekend tickets are from £6.
4 - The South Gloucestershire Show, The Windmill Fisheries Showground, Westerleigh Road.
The South Gloucestershire Show is as a celebration of life in South Gloucestershire and a showcase for lifestyle and leisure in and around the county, bringing together the people of South Gloucestershire for a weekend of fun and entertainment. There are local bands and artists, over 250 exhibitors, sports acts and gymnastic displays as well as a jam packed kids show. Dogs are welocome on the lead.
One day tickets are £10, £6 for u-16s, and children under 5 are free of charge. Family tickets start at £30
5 - Gloucester Street Jam, King’s Square, Gloucestershire
Gloucester is hosting its very own street art festival this weekend, to celebrate all forms of street art with the aim of bringing more vibrancy, colour and creativity to the city. Specially erected hoardings will be put up in the city centre to allow some of the country’s best known street artists to show off their creative talents. The majority of the Paint Jam Festival will be taking place at King’s Square where many of the artists will be based, along with live music and dance performances to add to the atmosphere throughout the weekend. Included in the headline acts is internationally recognised performer, Hobbit, who is the UK Loop Station champion and one of the world’s greatest Beatboxers. Beat-boxing buskers will be performing in the Gate streets, The Eastgate Centre will be hosting six dance troupes and a Dance Battle will be taking place in King’s Square on the Sunday. There will also be an art gallery on a converted double-decker bus, parked in King’s Square.
Gloucester Paint Jam takes place across the city centre on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 August 2014
6 – Will Harvey’s War, The Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
BORN in Gloucestershire in 1888, F.W. Harvey became one of England’s most popular war poets, writing much of his work during the Great War.
To mark the centenary of the start of World War 1 and the launch of a year long project Gloucestershire Remembers World War 1, the Everyman Theatre presents a dramatisation of Harvey’s lost novel Will Harvey’s War, specially adapted by the Everyman’s Creative Director, Paul Milton, who is also directing the play.
The Everyman’s professional company of actors will appear alongside local performers and musicians, from The Cheltenham Silver Band to members of the Everyvoice choir, to create this epic tale of Gloucestershire, the battle of the Somme and a final attempt at escape through the countryside of Westphalia.
Will Harvey’s war takes place at the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham, until Saturday, August 2.
7 – Meet Rex and Other Dinosaurs Exhibition, The Wilson, Cheltenham.
FROM August 2, two floors of The Wilson, Cheltenham’s art gallery and museum, will be taken over by huge dinosaurs from the Cretaceous, Jurassic and Triassic periods. The Meet Rex and Other Dinosaurs exhibition will run until 28 September and is a family-friendly show perfect for budding palaeontologists – and their parents!
Full size models and animatronics will allow people to marvel at the sheer size of dinosaurs, while interactive puzzles and games will help younger visitors reinforce their learning. Highlights from The Wilson’s own fossil collection will complement the exhibition and an app will be available to download with tickets from 18 July – offering further learning content and games. Free family activities including trails and craft workshops will be running throughout August to allow people to continue their involvement with Meet Rex and Other Dinosaurs across the summer holidays.
As a special treat, Heart Angels from Heart FM will be welcoming visitors and offering free face painting from 11am – 2pm during the opening weekend of 2 and 3 August, and throughout the exhibition, children will have the opportunity to ‘Meet Rex’ in a unique area where they can get up close to a T. Rex head and even take a selfie!
Meet Rex and Other Dinosaurs will run from 2 August – 28 September 2014. Tickets are available over the counter at Cheltenham Tourist Information Centre, or online at www.cheltenhamtownhall.org.uk. Ticket prices are: Adult £6, Child £5, Family £18.
8 – Wildlife Explorers at Slimbridge WWT
This summer, families will once again be setting sail on a voyage of discovery through acres of grounds at Slimbridge Wetland Centre, when the popular attraction launches a holiday programme of Wildlife Explorer activities, taking place daily from Saturday 19 July to Sunday 31 August .
From pond dipping and examining animal tracks to taking on the great skull challenge and going on a mini beast hunt, visitors of all ages will be investigating British wildlife and habitats, and getting closer to nature than ever before – with all of the activities being included in the normal admission charge.
There’s the chance to handle some slimy amphibians at Toad Hall, investigate moth traps, listen to night-time animal sounds and get stuck into a range of wildlife-themed arts and crafts, in addition to the wetland centre’s already overflowing list of attractions – so head there early to fit it all in.
These include the popular Toad Hall, Crane and Otter Talks; guided walks through the wetlands; puzzles and dress up in the Discovery Centre; the chance to splash around in Welly Boot Land; and see all six species of flamingo in the dedicated lagoon.
Each week during Wildlife Explorers will feature a different theme, spanning magical mammals, awesome amphibians, creepy crawlies, wildlife at night and British birds, with each participating child receiving a special card to get stamped during each activity to be in with a chance of taking home a certificate as a memento of their time at Slimbridge.
Open 9.30am to 5.30pm. Normal admission charges apply
9 – Twitchett’s Ale and Cider Festival, Subscription Rooms, Stroud
IF ALL the hot weather has brought on a thirst, then there is no excuse not to “drink up the cider” at the Subscription Rooms, Stroud, this weekend.
The first Twitchett’s Ale and Cider Festival takes place on Friday, August 1 and Saturday, August 2, with live music from The Peeky Blinders, Woe to the Provoker, Stoned Pony and lots more.
With entertainment across the two days, lots of ales and ciders to sample including award-winning beer, organic bottled ales and draft ciders including our own local award-winning Stroud Brewery, this festival will be a tip-top, one-stop for enjoyment.
Admission is free.
10 – THE Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival.
THE Gloucester Rhythm & Blues Festival is back with a spectacular line up of over 50 live acts performing at nine venues across the city. Now in its twelfth year, the festival is expected to attract numerous visitors from across the region flocking to Gloucester’s pubs and music venues for the annual free nine-day blues marathon, which finishes on Sunday.
This year’s festival features the cream of the Gloucestershire Blues scene in addition to nationally and internationally renowned artists including: The Reverend Robert and Andrew Duhon from the USA, Nico’ZZ Blues Band from France and Connie Lush, five-time UK Best Female Blues Vocalist, who will close the festival at Café Rene's Green Stage at Greyfriars.
A musical highlight on the Gloucestershire festival calendar, the nine-day Rhythm & Blues Festival takes place across nine city venues including Café Rene, The Cider Tree at The Coach & Horses, The Cross Keys Inn, Dean’s Walk Inn, The Dick Whittington, The Fountain Inn, The New Inn and The Old Bell. Café Rene will be hosting a concert on the evening of Friday 1st August and two all-day concerts on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd August on the outdoor Green Stage at Greyfriars. Peppers Café will also be hosting acts in their courtyard (weather permitting).
Until Sunday August 3 The full schedule of live performances can be viewed at www.gloucesterblues.co.uk