Arts Fresco 2012 cancelled as ‘better’ annual date proposed
MAIL readers have been having their say over the cancellation of this year’s Arts Fresco event in Harborough.
Instead of the usual September event, organisers are planning to hold a scaled-down version as part of the Olympic Torch Relay festivities through town on Monday, July 2.
They hope to move the main Arts Fresco festival to a new annual slot in May, starting next year.
Writing on Facebook, former Mail reporter Jemma Redden (nee Crowston) said: “Such a shame!”
Simon Allen said: “Wasn’t that good last year since they moved it anyway.”, to which Ben Pitcher added: “Agreed. It was terrible last year.”
On Twitter, @redsquirrel13 said: “Think moving date a good idea as always clashes with Lubenham Scarecrows - can’t be everywhere and don’t have endless spending money!”
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Arts Fresco director Hazel Cook said: “It is through discussions with several local groups and schools that it has been decided that it would be far better to run the event in the spring in future years, thereby increasing activity and reducing pressure on local volunteers during a traditional holiday period.
“2012 was chosen to be the best year to make this change because of all the other events being staged for the Olympics and Jubilee celebrations.”
She said Arts Fresco will be bringing a circus skills workshop (sponsored by Market Harborough Building Society) to Harborough’s Olympic Torch festival, plus three or four street acts, including Goronwy Thom, an international juggler/comedian who was a hit at Arts Fresco in previous years.
First held in 2002, the festival had become one of Harborough’s biggest annual events, attracting thousands of visitors.
But it has suffered funding issues in recent years and there was some criticism last year when it was moved from the town centre to Welland Park. It nevertheless won LeicesterShire Promotion’s Award for Best Tourism Event of 2011.
Mrs Cook defended the latest changes, adding: “There are lots of reasons why September is a difficult time of year for Arts Fresco, not least because we have to engage with the local community.
“September is a pain in the neck for schools, for example, to engage in Arts Fresco, but they can in May. It’s also a volunteer-run event and September is difficult because volunteers are on holiday at that time of year.
“We have not got the funding in place for May at this time but we are working on it. We have had very positive discussions with the Arts Council and other groups about switching to May.”
Anyone wanting to get involved in Arts Fresco or businesses who can sponsor it can phone 01858 434172.
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Weather for Market Harborough
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west