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Our Top Ten Festival Experiences for 2017

7th June 2017

Categories: News

Harrogate has a vibrant and varied festival scene celebrating the very best of culture, arts, food and heritage in our beautiful area. 

We lay out a top ten of the best festival experiences taking place this year for you to dive into Harrogate and get a real taste of what this area has to offer.

Parade of the Tractors

Possibly one of quirkiest events is the Annual Tractor Fest at Newby Hall.  One of the highlights of tractor fest is the Parade of Tractors which fill the market square in Ripon to bursting point.   This year the festival celebrates the legacy of Henry Ford, with key examples of 100 years of tractor production and agricultural machinery on display.

Drink to the Music

One of the opening events to the much celebrated Harrogate Music Festival in 2017 is Oz & Armonico: Drink to music, a journey through the relationship between wine and music across the globe. 

Wine critic Oz Clarke will be on hand to guide you with his encyclopaedic knowledge, with this lively and specially assembled concert programme from Armonico Consort.

Put your dancing feet forward

Let the golden age of vintage Hollywood put a beat in your step.  Alex Mendham and his lively 20 piece orchestra will be playing songs evocative of the Art Deco era including the hits of Cole Porter, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin and many more.  The dance floor of the Royal Hall in Harrogate will make the perfect place for the music to move your body and soul.

Dive in to G&S

Gilbert and Sullivan’s shows defined theatre of the Victorian age, and have maintained a strong and committed fandom ever since. 

Harrogate is home to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, so if you’ve never seen a G&S show before, this is your chance to immerse yourself in their topsy turvy world.  Pick one of the dozens of performances both amateur and professional, from around the world and discover the mischievous sense of humour of Gilbert and Sullivan for yourself.

A day on the Beach, nowhere near the sea

In August the Market Town of Knaresborough finds its self with a beach, as part of FEVA, the annual  Festival of Entertainment and Visual Arts.  Build Sands castles; enjoy the entertainment and hopefully some sun as the seaside comes 70 miles inland to this busy market town.

The finest Food and drink in one of the finest gardens.

The end of summer is heralded in by an appreciation for the harvest, in this case, cider.  As the apple season begins RHS Harlow Carr’s Food and Drink Festival offers the chance to enjoy the very best of produce focused on real ale and traditional cider. 

So take some time out from the hustle and bustle, find a quiet spot to rest in this beautiful garden and enjoy a craft brewed cider while you watch the world go by.

Walk through history

The Pateley Bridge Walking Festival has a schedule of walks for everyone, but among the most interesting are the historical walks that bring the story of landscape of Nidderdale to life.

Knowledgeable local historians will explain the story of Nidderdale’s industrial and geological history and give you an insight into how the landscape we enjoy today, came to be.

Sheep Racing

Size up the field, check out the form, place a bet and have a flutter, on sheep racing.  The Masham Sheep Fair is celebration of all things sheep, and a festival of the farming heritage of Wensleydale. 

One of the most surprising highlights is the sheep steeple chase, which takes place in the idyllic market square in Masham.

Have a Laugh

The Harrogate Comedy Festival has become a much anticipated event that brings some of the biggest names in comedy to Harrogate.

The Comedian of the Year competition is a regular event that sees a series of new budding comedians take the bold step of testing their skills in front of a live audience.  This lively event with quick fire routines is the chance to see a new comedian at the start of their career, or even to enter if you hold dreams of life in stand-up comedy.

Get a culinary tip from the best.

The inaugural Nidderdale Food Festival will take place on October  28th & 29th in Pateley Bridge, as well as demonstrations, displays and stalls from some of the finest food and drink in Yorkshire, the festival will feature a talk and demonstration from Francis Atkins, head chef at Michelin Starred restaurant, the Yorke Arms in Ramsgill.  If you enjoy challenging yourself in the kitchen this is a rare opportunity to see the very best in the industry go about it.

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