Alfreton will be all smiles this weekend as a new festival arrives in town, full of fun, entertainment, shopping and reasons to be cheerful.
Happy Fest, taking place on Saturday, July 21, has been organised by Our Alfreton, a new group of shops and small businesses working together to make the high street more vibrant.
Illustrator and Etsy entrepreneur Katie Abey, who opened her own shop on Cressy Road earlier this year, said: “We set up Our Alfreton in February to plan a couple of events every year which could help create a bit of a buzz about the town.
“David Taylor from Made@No18 initated the group, then there’s Couture @24 womenswear, Curiosity Interiors, Homespun arts and crafts shop, Alfreton Town Council and lots of other small businesses.”
She added: “Planning this first event has been really exciting, because it has made us realise just how many creative people there are around Alfreton.
“We put out a call for stallholders and entertainers, and the response was amazing. Lots of people were really positive feedback.”
Katie will be offering £5 live portraits in her shop all day, and has helped to set up outdoor attractions including a Pokemon Go Walk departing the shop at noon, and a dinosaur trail with prizes for anyone who can track them all down.
With sparks of joy flying all over town, Made@No18 will be handing out free rainbow cookies and hosting live entertainment including over-50s music and movement workshops at 10.45am and 11.15am.
There will also be busk stops dotted throughout the town, where anybody can show up and earn their 15 minutes of fame, an open mic, at the Welfare, noon to 2pm, and a mass jam session outside Alfreton House at 2pm.
For anyone who wants to get hands-on with the fun, Homespun will be offering bathbomb workshops for £5 at 10am, 11am and noon.
School students have submitted dozens of artworks for a competition, which will be displayed at festival venues.
For details of where to find each school’s entries and everything else happening throughout the day, Couture @24 will be serving as an information point.
Anyone visiting the indoor market will be able to find ‘happy’ offers at the stalls.
The shopping day ends with fancy dress judging at the Welfare, followed by an after-hours cocktail party at Made@No18.