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Maidstone Arts Festival with CoCo and the Butterfields and a yarn bombing fiesta

Heard of ‘yarn bombing’? It means covering everything in knitted wool, and it will be happening in Kent’s County Town this weekend.

Maidstone Arts Festival has invited dozens of busy knitters and crocheters to click away to create a veritable ‘purl’ of woollen attractions to cover the town centre for each of the festival’s two days. Bollards, bikes, even buses – there’s nothing these modern day graffiti artists can’t cover in wool.

In an unusual arrangement the festival will take place over two separate days, on Saturday, June 27 and then again on Saturday, July 11. Promising ‘a magical celebration of music, culture and creativity’,the festival takes place in Jubilee Square from noon to 5pm on both days.

The parade at last year's event
The parade at last year's event

In between, on Saturday, July 4, shoppers will be able to enjoy the colourful spectacle of the Maidstone Arts Parade, themed Around the World. Schools, charities, community and voluntary groups will showcase their colourful costumes and their musical and dancing skills as they move through the town from 3.45pm, making their way to Jubilee Square where there will be live performances from 5pm.

But first, this Saturday you can enjoy artists booked to appear at the festival, which include Maidstone’s own Invicta Jazz Orchestra, the six-piece Java Jam Jazz Band, Energize Choir, the Folkestone-based indie/rock band SKIES, a dance performance by one of JAG dance schools groups and a street show aimed at kids called the Giant Balloon Experiment.

On Saturday, July 11, there will be the chance to see Canterbury-based CoCo and the Butterfields before they go on tour of the Czech Republic, along with the funk jazz sextet the Fabulous Red Diesel.

Yarn bombing on two wheels
Yarn bombing on two wheels
CoCo and the Butterfields
CoCo and the Butterfields

There will also be a street artist creating a display of live graffiti on a massive canvas in Jubilee Square, street magic, dramatic interludes courtesy of Theatretrain, and some amazing moves from the US street dance crew YAK (You Already Know).

It is the third year that Maidstone Town Team have staged the free extravaganza.

Organiser Zoe Sparkle said: “Yarn bombing has been done very successfully in a number of locations around the country and it is something we have been wanting to do on this scale for a while in Maidstone.

Zoe Sparkle in Jubilee Square
Zoe Sparkle in Jubilee Square

“The Arts Festival seemed the perfect opportunity. We don’t want to give too much away, as it will spoil the element of surprise, but you can be sure that it is going to be an amazing sight!”

For more information on Maidstone Arts Festival, visit www.maidstonetown team.co.uk and for more information specifically on Maidstone Arts Parade, visit the page of the same name on www.facebook.com

Yarn bombing in Jubilee Square
Yarn bombing in Jubilee Square

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