Festival is set to blossom

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Everything in the garden’s looking lovely for this year’s Sheffield Children’s Festival - with youngsters set to play a key part in a new opening event.

The month-long spectacular is to kick off with Garden Up, a two day celebration in the Botanical Gardens which will feature displays created by youngsters in the famous glass pavilions.

A family-oriented weekend will also include show gardens, floral and bonsai displays, artists, sculptors and crafters doing demonstrations and selling their works as well as a plant clinic.

The main festival programme runs from June 7 until Saturday July 6 and inits 22nd year remains the largest event of its kind in the country.

City council director of culture and environment Paul Billington said: “The festival is the city’s showcase for the tremendous creativity amongst children and young people in Sheffield.

“There’s over a month of events and activities to enjoy, everything from theatre tasters, story-telling, picnics, dancing and sculpture.

“The festival is also a great opportunity for families, parents and carers to have a great time too. It’s all about getting involved in the arts – whether that’s making things, seeing your work exhibited or performing on stage in shows, musicals and plays.”

One of this year’s themes has been a wealth of artwork and creative writing inspired by a living history project called Tales From a Tommy, exploring life in World War I both in battle and on the home front.

Artist Jenny Seymour has been visiting schools to inspire paintings based around the theme of cycling, to tie in with the staging of the Tour de France.

Families activities include sessions featuring arts and crafts, animation, music and the art of video games - with everyone urged to join in.