Oswestry’s newest arts festival Love Oswestry makes a welcome return in February.
From Valentine’s week and through February half-term, Oswestry holds an eclectic mix of events closing with a family-friendly, twilight lantern parade through the streets of Oswestry. The main ‘Love Oswestry’ day is on Saturday, February 25th, 2023.
The 2023 Love Oswestry programme is stronger than ever. It gives the people of Oswestry the chance to show their love for the town by watching or taking part in a feast of cultural activities and performances.
Local people will be able to sign up for drama, writing and music workshops, free guided tours of the town, and there will be music in the pubs and on the streets. You can even get involved with English Heritage at Old Oswestry Hillfort.
Highlights of the programme include a spectacular twilight Lantern Parade, designed by local cultural organisation Designs in Mind, and led by local young people. Shropshire based Twisted Techno has once again designed a really exciting music programme, which includes DJ, drum and singing workshops at Hermon Arts.
From the 16th of February onwards, Qube will host a major exhibition of photographs under the theme ‘Love Oswestry; Love Where You Live’. This fabulous event will bring back Qube’s much loved local photography competition and there will be a series of prizes including special prizes for under 16s.
There is an exciting new drama offer developed by the Five Star Theatre group in conjunction with drama experts from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and other professional drama tutors. Young people (10 – 15year olds) will take part in 3 days of exciting drama and stage combat workshops, building to a performance on Friday the 24th at Hermon Arts.
And there will be the Ossie the Sheep town trail. A bit of a surprise, a lot of fun and you may win a cuddly sheep!
Love Oswestry Programme
28th January and every Saturday up to 11th February, 10am and 1pm: Lantern Making Workshops. Designs in Mind host lantern making workshops in preparation for the sunset lantern parade on February 25th. These free workshops are ideal for children aged 8+ (accompanied by an adult).
16th February: Opening of the Photography Exhibition ‘Love Oswestry; Love Where You Live’ at the Qube.
Wednesday 22nd to Friday 24th, 10am to 3pm: Drama & Stage Combat Workshops at Open Space Studios for young people led by RSC producers. There will be a small £10 charge for the entire three-day programme. This includes a free ticket to the Friday performance for a friend or family member.
Wednesday 22nd and Thursday 23rd, 10am – 4pm: Love your Hillfort. Roll your sleeves up and lend a hand to English Heritage who will be cutting down vegetation, repairing erosion and other important stuff at Old Oswestry Hillfort.
Friday 24th at 1.30pm: Love Oswestry – The Performance (Hermon Arts). This production is a culmination of the Wednesday – Friday drama workshops.
Friday 24th: Artisan Market Street Market and Late-Night Indoor Market.
11th – 26th of February. Complete the Ossie the Sheep trail! Follow the sheep trail around the town using the free LoyalFree app. Visit local venues to find the sheep in their window and scan the QR code to show you’ve found it and for a chance to win a prize.
Saturday 25th: The Main Event! ‘Love Oswestry’ Day
Storytelling: Fiona Collins leads exciting story-telling in the castle in the library. There will be bilingual stories from around the world told for children of all ages, with lots of chances to join in. Listen, take part, and have fun. Sessions at 10.30am, 1pm, 2pm and 3pm.
Free guided Heritage Tours: 11am and 1pm. Go back in time and learn about Oswestry’s rich history. See the old coaching inns, look out from Castle Mound and visit one of the oldest schoolhouses in the country. Tours start from Castle View, SY11 1JR and last for about 2 hours.
DJ, Drumming and Singing for Fun Workshops at Hermon Arts.
– DJ Club Taster Session. 10am – 12.30pm
– Singing for Fun Workshop. 1pm
– Drumming Workshops. Sessions at 2pm, 2.40pm and 3.20pm
– Lantern Parade: Starts at 6pm from Festival Square, followed by a big musical finale with Oz Rocks outside The Guildhall. Sign up for lantern making workshops in the build up to the event.
The idea for the “Love Oswestry” day and the coordination of the programme has come from Oswestry’s Cultural Consortium. The consortium is a group of people involved in the town’s culture and heritage and forms a key part of the High Street Heritage Action Zone, part of a national programme of High Street Heritage Actions Zones, which are funded by Historic England.
Mayor of Oswestry, Councillor Jay Moore said: “I’m really glad that Love Oswestry is back, even bigger and better than in 2022. It gives us all a chance to see and do some great things and to celebrate what’s really special about our town. I’m sure everyone will have a brilliant day and big thanks to the people and organisations involved. I’m especially pleased that there are so many things for young people to do, not just on the main day but throughout half-term week.”
Samantha Jones, HSHAZ coordinator said: “We are really excited about a very special day that brings alive Oswestry’s culture and heritage and lets people find out more about this historic, friendly, and surprising town. Our funder, Historic England will be delighted to see this great example of how programmes like this can be great fun for people of all ages”.
For more information and booking links, visit https://tinyurl.com/loveoswestry2023