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Ashford: The Snowdog Art Trail comes to town next week


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A town centre will become a pooch-filled paradise next week.

A total of 35 fibreglass dogs - based on Raymond Briggs' popular animation The Snowman and the Snowdog - will be dotted around Ashford.

Many of the town's businesses, parks and streets will receive their own 1.5-metre-tall model as part of the Snowdogs Discover Ashford trail.

The Snowdogs will take over the town, appearing in Ashford's streets for 10 weeks
The Snowdogs will take over the town, appearing in Ashford's streets for 10 weeks

Each is uniquely decorated by professional or amateur artists and a rigorous selection process whittled down a shortlist of 60 designs.

For the last two months the people behind the pups have been busy painting and collaging their canines, after businesses around the town decided which Snowdog they wanted to sponsor.

Victoria Robbins, of Cheeseman's Green Lane, is creating the Kentish Express dog, Bark Kent.

She said: "When they said I'd been selected I was absolutely over the moon.

"I have never entered something like this before and like many artists, I ​can ​doubt how others may view my work.

Victoria Robbins will decorate two Snowdogs for the project
Victoria Robbins will decorate two Snowdogs for the project

"Sitting and drawing the designs was ​very​ therapeuti​c but I really didn't think I would be picked.

"To have art trails happen that bring people together for charity and experience, the delight of art is just fantastic.

"It's very special for all the people who create designs, the charities they support, the areas where it generates visitors to boost local business but most of all, the joy it will bring to all the people who see them."​​

The Snowdog Art Trails originated in Brighton in September 2016 and have since been held in Newcastle and Tyne & Wear and Cardiff.

World-renowned artist Mr Doodle, originally from Ashford, has also worked his magic on one of the Snowdogs
World-renowned artist Mr Doodle, originally from Ashford, has also worked his magic on one of the Snowdogs

Now in its fourth outing, art event specialists Wild in Art have worked closely with Ashford Borough Council to push through the Snowdogs Discover Ashford campaign.

Running for ten weeks from Wednesday, September 12, to Sunday, November 18, visitors will be able to explore the town while hunting for the hounds.

Snowpups, drawn up by schoolchildren around the borough, will also be on display in County Square Shopping Centre, Ashford Designer Outlet and Ashford Gateway.

Throughout the trail's run, miniature design-your-own dogs are available for purchase at Made in Ashford in Park Mall and at Ashford Gateway, with paints included.

Decorated and design-your-own versions of the Snowdogs can be bought in Made in Ashford, Park Mall, and the Tourist Information Centre in the Ashford Gateway
Decorated and design-your-own versions of the Snowdogs can be bought in Made in Ashford, Park Mall, and the Tourist Information Centre in the Ashford Gateway

The town's festive fun day on Friday, November 17, will also have a Snowdog theme.

After being taken down, the Snowdogs will be viewable for the last time when they are brought together at the Julie Rose Stadium for a farewell weekend event, on December 1 and December 2.

The final event on the Snowdog schedule is a charity auction on Monday, December 3, when the decorated doggies will be sold off in support of the Pilgrims Hospices.

For more information on the art trail and Snowdog events, and a location map, go to ashfordsnowdogs.co.uk

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