Big fun on the way as Devizes carnival approaches

This Is Wiltshire: A crew works on the imposing structure of the Iron Giant A crew works on the imposing structure of the Iron Giant

The entertainment will be huge at this year’s Devizes Carnival and International Street Festival.

A six-metre-tall iron puppet will be at the festival for an adaptation of Ted Hughes’s The Iron Giant, while four performers from Carnage Productions will be abseiling down the town hall.

They are among 34 acts and bands who will be performing at the festival on Sunday. August 24, on The Green or Monday, August 25, in the Market Place.

This is the third year that the Street Festival has covered two days and, new this year, there will also be a show on the Sunday night.

Devizes Outdoor Celebratory Arts, which organises the event, aims to have a strong participatory programme and as part of this it wants to form a street band consisting of local people to perform in the show and lead off a procession from The Green at 7pm to a secret location in Devizes.

It is also running workshops for people to create colourful costume pieces and a giant puppet to be in the carnival procession on August 30, and volunteers can become carnival makers to help out at events.

DOCA’s artistic director Jo Beal said: “The workshops are for people not necessarily linked to groups but want to have a go at making pieces for themselves, friends and family to form a pop-up group in the carnival procession.”

The workshops are on August 26, 27, 28 and 29 at the Crown Centre, St John’s Street, in the morning and afternoon. Places are limited, so call 07880 239598 to book.

The carnival procession and festival are free, as is the Picnic in the Park which is at Hillworth Park on Sunday, August 17, and has live music.

Other events include the quiz night on August 18, comedy night on August 21 and traditional confetti battle on August 27. New events this year are an open session of Paralympic sport boccia on August 16 and a celebration to mark the 200th anniversary of the Market Cross on August 26.

DOCA received its biggest ever Arts Council grant this year of just over £80,000 for the carnival, street festival and Christmas Festival, but it has to raise the same amount through sponsorship and donations.

Carnival programmes are on sale at shops including Brittox News and Devizes Books for £2.

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