ORGANISERS of Leamington’s summer festivals are putting out a call for volunteers.
The big five free-to-attend events, billed as the ‘Summer of Fun’ by BID Leamington, get underway with the Leamington Peace Festival this month and culminate with the Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival in September.
The Leamington Carnival in July is followed by Art in the Park and Warwickshire Pride in August.
Together they attract tens of thousands of local people and visitors to the town centre and organisers say their success relies on the consistent goodwill of helpers, reflecting Leamington’s community spirit of volunteering.
Stephanie Kerr, executive director of BID Leamington, said: “The volunteers give hundreds of hours of their time to make the ‘Summer of Fun’ events come alive.
“There is a lot of overlap among the volunteer community with many helping out at several events and that spirit is one of the big things that makes Leamington tick.”
Leamington Peace Festival, one of the UK’s longest-running free festivals, takes place over the Pump Room Gardens on June 16 and 17.
Director Tash Daly said: “Volunteers organised the first Peace Festival 40 years ago, in the days of anti-nuclear protests and the Cold War, to bring people together to learn more and celebrate our community.
“The Peace Festival still follows those core principles and is looking for volunteers to help on the weekend, and help move the festival forward into its fifth decade.”
Leamington Carnival’s floats, musicians and dancers will wind their way through the town to the Pump Room Gardens on Saturday July 14 where the celebrations will continue with a fair and local stalls.
Art in the Park returns to Jephson Gardens on August 4 and 5 with a packed programme of art, music and performances, this year celebrating the park’s Victorian festival link to trees.
Director Carole Sleight said: “This festival could not take place without the input, energy, time and creativity which volunteers of every age generously give throughout the year and on the festival weekend where they welcome and look after over 15,000 visitors.”
Warwickshire Pride will welcome people to the Pump Room Gardens on Saturday August 18 for a celebration of LGBT life, which this year is themed on ‘Raise Your Rainbow’ to mark 40 years of the symbolic rainbow flag and its creator Gilbert Baker, who died in 2017.
Organiser Daniel Browne said: “There wouldn’t be an event if we didn’t have the volunteers and we always appreciate more. It’s incredibly rewarding and a lot of our volunteers have become really close friends as a result.”
Over 150 exhibitors will be at this year’s Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival in the Pump Room Gardens on September 8 and 9 for tastings, demonstrations and cook-offs.
Alison Shaw, project manager at BID Leamington, which organises the event, said: “Volunteering with us is a fantastic opportunity to get involved in one of Leamington’s biggest calendar events with over 25,000 people visiting the site over the two days.
“Being a volunteer is a lot of fun – you get to meet new people, be part of a hard-working team and of course get to sample lots of delicious food and drink.”
Anyone interested in volunteering should email [email protected] for the Leamington Peace Festival, [email protected] for Leamington Carnival, [email protected] for Art in the Park, apply for Warwickshire Pride at www.warwickshirepride.co.uk, and for Royal Leamington Spa Food and Drink Festival by emailing [email protected]