COLEFORD Artsfest, which aims to bring communities together through the arts, is holding the first of its two festivals next week.

There will be two parades leaving Coleford Library on Saturday, June 1, one at midday, the other at 2.15pm.

Both will head towards the clock tower and be greeted by bands or choirs. There will be an exciting range of performances by children from Coalway juniors, and children showcasing insects on sticks from St Johns Academy.

These exciting events and provide some joy for all ages and for free. Djabot African Drumming Band led by Oumar will lead the first parade creating an exciting rhythm and will be greeted by Pillowell Silver Band in the market square.

During the afternoon, drop-in art workshops will be led by far open artists at The Baptist Church, alongside theatre and singing workshops where the Forest of Dean Youth Theatre will premiere a part of their Warren James play, written by local playwright and poet Maggie Clutterbuck,‘Come Sing’ workshop and a Cranky Story will be told outside the church.

Engage Circus skills workshop will be running near the library and GWR Museum. Throughout the afternoon the museum will be open for free with a programme on entry.

At the Clock Tower there will be a horsebox from Wyldwood, turned into a nail bar ‘Colours of the Forest’ and Poetry Salmon, raising the profile about the River Wye.

Several other stalls will be promoting their organisations. The afternoon will see the Wildoats Morris dancers in action followed by a Forest Thump samba band and the Mark Venus Band. To bring the celebrations to a conclusion the Climate Choir will sing.

Over the last couple of months there have been seven promotional events across the town ranging from creative walks, one from the library, the other around Mallards Pike, an art workshop, four Batik flag and banner making, creative writing workshops and a photographic exhibition of creative walks in Coleford Library and artists working with children in local primary schools.