For the past 38 summers there has been a Festival in Whitchurch, and one in Tongwynlais in more recent years. Recognising the close relationship between the two villages, we have combined to offer a wider and more varied programme. All events are for Whitchurch and Tongwynlais and we hope that residents in both villages will support all events wherever they are held.
Let’s have a look at the features.
The Festival gets under way in Tongwynlais with the Sunset Fayre, in the main street in the shadow of the iconic Castell Coch. As the sun goes down, there will be a variety of activities to enjoy including rides, music, food and tug-of-war.
For those who are looking for something even more energetic to do that evening, why not enter for the Cycle Challenge? Starting at the entrance to Castell Coch, competitors will race against the clock to the entrance of Forest Fawr, a distance uphill of just over a mile. Organised by Plan2Ride, there is no entry fee but competitors should contact Chad beforehand to register.
The Grand Concert on Wednesday, once again in the calm surroundings of St Mary’s Church, will present performances from local music-makers, the Cardiff City Brass Band, the Castell Coch choir, Whitchurch High School Chamber Choir and Jane Sinclaire on violin.
If you have to miss the Grand Concert or can’t get enough of the Castell Coch choir, there is another opportunity to hear them on Friday night in the much less formal setting of the Tongwynlais Village Hall. Bring your own picnic and drinks and enjoy a range of items from the choir’s extensive repertoire. A sort of indoor Glyndebourne, or maybe not… !
The first weekend in July has a great deal to offer, starting with the Dog Show in the Ton Village Hall. With categories for all kinds of dogs including the scruffiest (and we all know one of those!), there is potential for every pooch to be a winner. As indeed there is later in the day for teams competing in the Five a side football competition and on Sunday in the Family Treasure Hunt. The latter has been a popular feature of the Festival for many years but this is the first time that it has been held at the weekend and we hope that more families will be attracted to take part. On foot around Whitchurch, the event should take no more than 2 hours.
Earlier in the day, the Festival Service will take place at St Mary’s Church. Canon John Rowlands will lead this service in the presence of the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. In Tongwynlais Church on Sunday evening, local Musicians Kim, cello, and Jane, violin, will present “Music for a Summer Evening,” a relaxing way to end the weekend.
Monday of the second week has two events at the Whitchurch Library, Story Time for the Under 5’s (Amser Stori on Tuesday) and the Friends and Neighbours Group. The latter is for everyone who would like to meet others of all ages in a spirit of friendship. The Whitchurch FAN group meets weekly and you can find out more on www.thefancharity.org. There is no charge for Library events.
In Tongwynlais at 5 pm, the St Michael’s Ladies group will entertain Senior Citizens to tea. As with all events, it matters not whether you live in Whitchurch or Tongwynlais, but you do need to book a place in advance. At 6.30 pm the four Primary Schools in the villages will present their own concert in the new venue of Ararat Church.
On Tuesday evening, Children’s Sports on the Common will once again include all the popular races for children up to 14 years old. You don’t need to book in advance – turn up on the night. Later, the Lewis Arms in Tongwynlais is hosting a pub quiz and there is another opportunity to pit your wits against other teams on Wednesday in the Ton Village Hall when there will be a Fun Quiz. Again bring your own picnics and drinks and also enjoy our guest band.
Thursday brings the Teddy Bears Picnic at Ainon Chapel in Tongwynlais. This is for children under 8 with a parent, offering age related activities. Remember to take a picnic and a blanket. And that evening there is a Pub Quiz at The Three Elms on Whitchurch Common.
Friday is race night but a rather different one. Sponsored ducks (they are plastic by the way!) will ‘paddle’ their way from Warren Evans Court to the Three Elms. Under the new management of Cardiff Breakfast Rotary Club, the race begins at 7.0pm. Ducks can be purchased in advance by ringing Steve on 07788 154215.
The final event on Saturday is the ever popular Fete on Whitchurch Common which will have something for everybody. Bring the family along to this extravaganza and enjoy the festivities.
The Festival Organisers
The Whitchurch & Tongwynlais Festival is organised through the Whitchurch Community Centre Committee and consists of Councillor Linda Morgan (Chair) , Councillor Mike Jones Pritchard (Treasurer), Nicola Callan (Secretary), Wayne Brewer, Steve Finch, Caroline Lunn, Keith Moger, Ann Perry, Shirley Platts, Sheila Williams and Julie Woods.
Are you prepared to help with our Festival next year?
It takes a lot of hard work to plan, organise and run the Festival and the more helpers we have, the more and better things we can do. Do you have some spare time that could be put to good use by helping with the Festival? If so please do get in touch. Whatever your talents and skills, we can put them to good use helping with this, one of the best community Festivals in Cardiff.
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