Fest was the best

Organisers are basking in the success of this year’s WhizzFizzFest.

The colourful celebration took to the road earlier this month, with a range of family-friendly activities and events taking place across the county, with the theme of friendship.

Thousands turned out to festival events in Aylesbury, High Wycombe and Chesham over three consecutive weekends throughout July. Working alongside Aylesbury Town Council, High Wycombe BIDco and Chesham Connect, Buckinghamshire Council brought the fun of WhizzFizzFest to three events, providing free creative workshops, performances, street entertainment and activities to enjoy.

Activities started in Aylesbury as WhizzFizzFest joined Aylesbury-on-Sea in Vale Park. Alongside the beach-based fun, WhizzFizzFest treated visitors to interactive performances of Alice in Wonderland by Unbound Theatre and Madagascar-themed dance workshops by Aylesbury Waterside Theatre.

Local groups and organisations hosted craft activities and there were opportunities to fashion musical instruments out of junk materials, listen to storytelling and watch performances.

The following weekend, WhizzFizzFest moved to High Wycombe, where the Desborough Carnival saw a celebration of music and culture arrive in town. Despite stormy weather, residents enjoyed stage music performances by local groups, walkabout street performers including Afro Leana, arts, crafts and more family fun.

The final WhizzFizzFest event took place at Hats Off Chesham! It featured music, dance, entertainment, stalls and colourful headwear.

Strong winds and rain didn’t stop hundreds turning out. Storytelling performers from the Roald Dahl Museum entertained the crowd and community groups performed on the Friendship Stage. Elsewhere free activities included friendship medal crafts, straw-plaiting and hat decorating.

Alongside the festival events more than 780 children took part in artists’ workshops in schools.

Artists Harsha Basu and Olivia Davies worked with the children to create paper dolls and patchwork quilt patches. The artwork was used to form the backdrop to an immersive, interactive installation by local theatre company Cue 34, which was showcased at the three festival events.

Additionally, WhizzFizzFest presented nine performances of a children’s theatre show in libraries across the county. Children enjoyed a performance of By the Light of the Moon by Full House Theatre, a heart-warming tale of difference and friendship, followed by a puppet craft workshop.

One onlooker said: ‘This was so wonderful/ Thank you for the excellent performance. My three year old was enchanted and so were we. It was very creative and imaginative. I can’t wait to see more productions in the future.’

Clive Harriss, the council’s cabinet member for culture and leisure, said: ‘For those who thought our annual WhizzFizzFest couldn’t get any better, this year’s events have shown that by working in partnership with local organisations and groups, we can bring the fun and enjoyment of WhizzFizz to even more families across Bucks.’

Footnote:
Local libraries are hosting a range of free, fun activities for children throughout the school holidays. From the Summer Reading Challenge to arts and crafts, music and storytelling, there are activities to suit all ages. For more information visit: www.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/libraries

Pictured:
Open-air storytelling at the festival.