Festival countdown begins

Stamford's third Georgian Festival is now just days away, with final preparations being made for a superb weekend's entertainment.

Stamford Georgian Festival 2017 logo

 The countdown is on to TV presenter and art historian Dan Cruickshank's flagship opening event with his talk at Stamford Endowed School at 8pm on Thursday (21 September).

Street markets have attracted more than 90 traders and, with shows, town walks, talks, street theatre, carriage rides and a strong Jane Austen theme throughout, the festival is expected to bring thousands of visitors to the town.

Free performances on The Meadows on both festival days include an invitation to 'ride'  the Stamford bull on a bucking bull ride!

A special festival 'Grand Tour' quiz will encourage festival-goers to visit places of interest and vote for their favourite Georgian themed shop window along the way, confirmed SKDC Leader Cllr Matthew Lee.

"There are strong heritage and visitor attraction reasons why we stage festivals like this, but there is also a very strong economic argument for organising events. We want to make sure that the town benefits," said Cllr Lee.

"A survey conducted during the last festival in 2015 calculated that the festival delivered a £1m economic bonus to the Stamford area.  It showed that 70% of all visitors were drawn specifically by the festival, 60% of whom were from outside Stamford.

"We also found that 70% of businesses increased turnover or found new customers and we want the same thing to happen again. Visitors love the variety and quality of our shops and town centre. They spend money in the town, stay overnight and take away amazing memories."

The Grand Tour features 20 locations, with questions to inform and entertain, such as spotting the animal's head on one of the charity shops in St Paul's Street and finding the bookshop with a mock Tudor facade.

Tour-goers can win a £50 first prize for the first correct entry drawn after the closing date. There is also a £50 prize for the shop whose themed window receives the most votes via the quiz, with both prizes donated by the Federation of Small Businesses.

Tour forms can be collected from Stamford Arts Centre or downloaded from the festival website www.stamfordgeorgianfestival.co.uk