Arts, crafts and musical talents were in the spotlight during the Bicester festival

Arts, crafts and music are alive and well in this town, which just hosted its fifth annual festival to celebrate the talents of residents.

The Bicester Festival brought a mythical presence to the town on Saturday as Gwynhaff the pedal dragon led the parade from Old St Edburg’s School to Garth Park, arriving at noon for the day of arts, crafts and music starts.

The event was opened by the Deputy Mayor of Bicester, Harry Knight, who said: “It was a fantastic day, really enjoyable.

“Very well organized too, and the entertainment was great too. Lots to take in and enjoy.

“I was particularly impressed by the dragon leading the parade, it was very good.

“There were a lot of people, there were a lot of people. It was great to see people having fun; kids, adults, everyone seemed to be having fun.

“A big shout out to the organizers and sponsors, and I would love to see him again next year.”

The event was organized by local arts organization OYAP, in partnership with The Mill Arts Center and a team of local volunteers.

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Organizers have brought in two professional entertainment companies to stage the occasion, Festive Road and Just More Productions, along with a host of local Bicester performers and performers.

Children’s entertainer Aaron Williams took part in the event, which featured Elite Dance Bicester, Mini Professionals Dance Academy and Russian singer Maria Merinova, who performed her songs in Ukrainian to show solidarity with local Ukrainians.

David Thompson, who organized the day’s musical stages, said: ‘It was a great day of musical entertainment, with most performers from Bicester and surrounding areas, and all from Oxfordshire.

“Music is definitely on the rise here at Bicester, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more young talent on bigger stages and on screens in the future.”

The guests were lulled by 16 numbers on the two musical stages from 12:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The day opened with local folk-rock bank Triskel 3, which was attended by the Brookside School Choir, pianist Mark Burden, the Bicester Concert Band and 8-year-old soloist Molly, a recorded Spotlight Young Performer.

Additionally, David Thompson sang 3 songs, one of which was an original, which tells the story of the trials and tribulations of his Ukrainian refugee family’s recent arrival in Bicester from Ukraine.

Then came The Jerichos, a melody-infused punk band, solo artist Monarch, Stages Theatrical, What the Funk and Kit Goff.

The day was supported by Cherwell District CouncilBicester City Council, Oxfordshire County Councilor’s Priority Fund and local business sponsorship.

Unfortunately the planned flash mob, which was to take place in Sheep Street, did not materialize and Mr Thompson believes it may have been the heat that turned people off.

This story was written by Matthew Normanhe joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on researching stories from various communities.

Contact him by email: [email protected]

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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