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Former Olympian to open Mansfield Arts Festival

A nine day festival celebrating the best of Mansfield through a range of performances, music and art, kicks off this weekend and will be officially opened by Mansfield's former Olympian John Whetton and Mansfield's Executive Mayor Tony Egginton.

The Mansfield Arts Festival takes place between 7 and 15 July and is packed with activities, exhibitions, performance, art and music.

Inspired by the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, the Festival sees Mansfield District Council, including its Palace Theatre and Museum, Mansfield Library, The Old Library, Vision West Notts, schools and community groups come together to create an exciting programme of activities and events. From photography to poetry, script writing to theatre, jazz and bluegrass to bell ringing, acrobatics and even an Italian food market, there's something for all tastes.

John Whetton, who won gold in the 1500 metres at the 1969 European Athletics Championships and reached the 1500 metre final in both the 1964 and 1968 Summer Olympics, will join Mansfield's Executive Mayor at Mansfield Museum on Saturday 7 July at 10am to officially open the Arts Festival. The Museum will also launch its annual summer exhibition, which this year is named On the Right Track; Rebecca, Runners and Record Breakers; The Story of Sport in Mansfield. The Mayor will then visit the Mamma Mia Italian Food Market in Mansfield Market Place to sample some of the tasty treats on offer.

The Palace Theatre is contributing to the overall Festival with a play in parts called Not Much Matches Mansfield by Kevin Fegan, which is part-funded by an Arts Council England / National Lottery grant and local businesses and community sponsorship.

In a fun, free, entertaining and engaging way, different themes are presented in the parts that will make you laugh or take a fresh look at the town in which we live. Each segment lasts about 20 minutes and will be performed at various venues in the town centre on Saturday 14 July and Sunday 15 July. For more information on the performance areas, play summaries and times, please visit

A programme detailing all of the events taking place during the festival is available from schools and colleges, doctors, dentists, libraries, SureStart, community centres, supermarkets, Mansfield District Council buildings and children's play centres across the District. It is also available online at

Cllr Kate Allsop, Portfolio Holder for Economic Regeneration at Mansfield District Council, said: "The Mansfield Arts Festival includes an exciting variety of events and activities for everyone to get involved in and many are free. It is a great opportunity for people to share in the artistic talents of their community and celebrate Mansfield's culture."

Published 03 July 2012

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