Pull on that winter hat, wrap your hands around a warm glass of mulled wine and prepare to get well and truly into the festive spirit as we welcome the return of Chorlton Arts Festival’s Christmas Craft Fair on Saturday 26 November (11am-4pm).
A regular feature of the festive season – set in the serene surroundings of St Clements’ Church, Edge Lane – this is Chorlton’s largest and most established craft fair with over 30 stalls providing the perfect opportunity to find unique and unusual presents for friends and family. Take your pick from individual, handmade, locally-sourced or recycled goodies; from stall holders such as Cara Codd’s vintage jewellery, Cersha Kintu’s skincare and Chrissy Harbour’s chocolates, to Chris Clarke’s artwork and Ruth Bissett’s cards and decorations; plus clothes, accessories and much more.
“I’m very excited about this year’s Christmas Craft Fair,” says organiser David Winterton. “We have seen the highest ever level of interest from stall holders and we will be bringing together a mix of new and exciting products especially for the day.” So for those planning a visit, he has some invaluable advice. “As many items are one-offs I urge everybody to get there as early as possible.”
Make a day of it and shop ‘til you drop while enjoying a glass or two of our famous mulled wine and spiced apple. Plus, all profits go to help fund next year’s Chorlton Arts Festival. Speaking of which, we’ll be seeking submissions for the 2012 Festival (18-28 May) at the end of the year, and the Christmas Craft Fair will give artists and performers a head start on proceedings as the Festival organisers will be available on the day to answer any questions.
This year’s Festival – which launched with a special performance by patron Damon Gough aka Badly Drawn Boy – delivered the busiest and most diverse programme yet, with over 200 performances showcasing the best local, regional, national and international talent (featuring artists from Australia, America and Germany) in venues across Chorlton, including St Clements’ Church. It is an annual celebration of music, comedy, visual and performing arts and, from simple beginnings, has grown into one of the best multi-arts events in the country.
New music was a focus for the 2011 Festival and the headline acts were suitably diverse; from John Smith and Australian band Cloud Control, to Leeds indie folksters Ellen & the Escapades. “Whether it’s jazz, folk, classical or pop, we focused on fresh acts that are at the very top of their genre but that might be new to Chorlton audiences,” explains Festival Director Philip Hannaway. Homegrown talent also got a look-in with Manchester’s very own Matthew Halsall, Blind Atlas and Graham Massey’s band The Sisters of Transistors making an appearance.
“It really is such a thrill to see such diversity in Chorlton,” continues Philip. “Over 75 per cent of the Festival is free, and there really is something for everyone. As the Festival has grown so has its ambitions, but it still remains by the community for the community.”
For further details visit: www.chorltonartsfestival.com