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Tenterden Folk Festival brings morris dancing and more than 50 events to the streets, pubs and stages

By Angela Cole

It’s been bringing its sights and sounds to Tenterden for a quarter of a century.

The 25th Tenterden Folk Festival brings more than 50 events over four, full days in around 12 venues, plus some 40 morris sides and dance display teams.

Organisers have pulled out all the stops and arranged extra events to make it the biggest yet.

Minden Rose morris on parade at Tenterden Folk Festival

Minden Rose morris on parade at Tenterden Folk Festival

With many free events, festivities start at 11.30am on Thursday with a song and music session led by John and Di Cullen and friends in the bar of the William Caxton.

Many of the free fun takes to the town centre streets on Saturday and Sunday, with marquees on the Recreation Ground, plus a craft fair, real ale bar and a dance stage for morris dancing and entertainment.

On Friday there will be song and music sessions at lunchtime and in the evening in The White Lion, The William Caxton and The Woolpack, plus guest spots in the Secret Pantry and Indulgence, as well as a band showcase in the Vine Inn.

Dancers went through an arch of fellow dancers at Tenterden Folk Festival last year Picture Paul Amos

Dancers went through an arch of fellow dancers at Tenterden Folk Festival last year Picture: Paul Amos

There will be concerts, folk clubs, workshops, and one of the highlights will be the barn dance on Friday, October 6 in Moulton Hall at Tenterden Club, off the High Street from 7.30pm, with four-piece Jezreels Ceilidh Band, featuring Doug Hudson, Steve Moreham, Chris Taylor and Mike Peters.

The main concerts will be on Saturday and Sunday, although there will also be a fundraising concert on the Thursday in the Town Hall.

There will also be informal sing-arounds, music sessions and sessions in the four town centre clubs, plus children’s entertainment.

DANCING IN THE STREETS

Morris dancing is one of the highlights of the festival and this year there will be some 40 sides dancing for your delight.

Drumming in the High Street at last year's Tenterden Folk Festival Picture Paul Amos

Drumming in the High Street at last year's Tenterden Folk Festival Picture: Paul Amos

Sides dancing on the Saturday and Sunday include Woodchurch Morris, who have been at the event every year for the 25 years, Loose Women Morris, Gong Scourers, Kent Korkers and Pork Scratchin’s and Cornucopia, making their first trip to Tenterden.

The main days for dancing will still be Saturday and Sunday but there will be some dancing on Thursday and Friday.

The dance stage will see performances by morris dancers, Appalachian dancers, Slovakian dancers and 4 x 4 Bhangra dancers, plus music from 10am to 6pm on Saturday and to 5pm on Sunday.

Sunday will also see performances from Snail Tales Story Telling for families and adults. There will be dancers and street entertainers taking part in the procession at 3pm on the Saturday.

DETAILS

The 25th annual Tenterden Folk Festival will be held in the town from Thursday, October 5  to Sunday, October 8. Many events are free. For the ticketed events, visit tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk or pop in to the Gateway Plus in Ashford and Advantec IT at the Fairings in Tenterden. For more details of what’s on go to tenterdenfolkfestival.org.uk

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