Croydon Heritage Festival, The Whitgift Foundation

Thursday 6 June
Croydon is preparing to celebrate its rich and vibrant past as well as looking forward to a bright future when residents and visitors alike are invited to the first Croydon Heritage Day this Saturday 8 June 2013.

The event is being presented by The Whitgift Foundation as the centrepiece of Croydon Heritage Festival, a three-week festival showcasing the best the town has to offer through more than 150 events across the borough.

From 11am to 4pm, there will be a host of free heritage themed activities taking place in North End as well as a live performance stage with acts featuring a feast of local talent  including Indian dancing, jazz, opera and drama.

Activities and entertainment will be suitable for all age groups including a chance for adults and children to dress up in period fancy dress and win prizes donated by Centrale. Participants are invited to meet at 2pm at the main stage where judging will take place.

The public are also invited to step inside the Whitgift Almshouses (booking required) and Croydon Minster, two of the borough’s most historic buildings, for conducted tours throughout the day.

There will be the opportunity to learn more from the town’s experts about some of Croydon’s fascinating history and many of the borough’s prominent historic organisations will be hosting market stalls including Croydon Natural History and Scientific Society, Bourne Society, Croydon Rotary Club, Croydon Airport Society, the Friends of Broad Green and Church Alley, Friends of Shirley Windmill and many more.

Martin Corney, chief executive of The Whitgift Foundation, said: “With the support from a number of organisations and groups across the borough we are excited to be hosting the first Croydon Heritage Day as a centrepiece for the three week long Croydon Heritage Festival, and we welcome residents and visitors to come along to celebrate Croydon’s past and present.

“For more than 400 years, The Whitgift Foundation has been committed to Croydon by providing education and care to the local community through our schools, care homes and Carers’ Information Service. We are delighted to be presenting this event to demonstrate our passion for Croydon and to show residents and visitors alike that, as well as a promising future, the borough has a rich past well worth remembering. I would like to thank all who have been involved for what promises to be a day out in Croydon to remember”

There will also be entertainment up and down North End including stilt walkers, Jose the Clown, Felix and Felix, a Victorian barrow girl and a human statue.
The timetable for the main stage is: 11am Aspara Arts, 11.20am Speaking Out – Trinity School, noon CODA, 12.20pm Big Beer Band, 1pm Absolute Opera, 1.40pm Homebrood, 2.20pm Mayor’s Speech and Fancy Dress Competition, 2.40pm Croydon Community Choir, 3.05pm London Red, 3.40pm Croydon Youth Arts present Croydon Airport, 3.45pm Surrey Jive.

Other organisations hosting stalls on the day are: Apsara Arts, Bourne Society, Broad Green Residents’ Association, Croydon Bowling Club, Croydon College, CODA, Croydon Old Town Business Association, Croydon Soroptimists, Crystal Palace FC Foundation, Croydon People’s History Group, East Surrey Family History Society, Healthwatch, Lions Club, St Mary’s Church and South End Restaurant Quarter.

Youngsters are also being encouraged to get involved in the Festival through the Croydon Heritage Challenge. There is a chance to win a £100 giftcard, courtesy of the Whitgift Centre, by collecting special stickers by attending some of the Festival events and the opportunity to win family tickets to see Peter Pan, courtesy of Fairfield Halls, by entering a special Art competition. A competition entry card can be collected from Croydon Visitor Centre, Croydon Central Library, and other prominent town centre venues during the Festival.

The inaugural Croydon Heritage Festival, being presented by The Whitgift Foundation, is set to be a huge celebration showcasing the best of the town’s history via more than 150 events across the London Borough of Croydon during the three weeks up to Sunday, June 23, 2013. A full calendar of events can be found at www.croydonheritagefestival.co.uk or you can collect a guide from Croydon Visitor Centre, next to East Croydon station.

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