In November 1976, a villager, Ken Jones, invited all local organisations to a meeting in the local scout hut to discuss how the village was going to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. As usual on such occasions, the meeting was sparsely attended, but those who did attend more than made up in enthusiasm and commitment for the lack of numbers, with the result that a Committee was formed to organise a Village Festival in the summer of 1977.
From the outset, the Committee decided that the prime objective of the Festival would be to create the opportunity for local organisations to raise funds, usually by running a stall; this principle still holds true today. Arena events were also an important part of the entertainment provided by the Festival. The impetus created by the first Festival demanded that it become an annual event and with May Day being the most appropriate day, the first May Day Festival was held in 1978 on the Primary School field. The Festival eventually had to move to Shavington Leisure Centre as it had grown so big, but in 2000, due to the foot and mouth outbreak, it returned to the centre of the Village.
From the Festival, the idea of a village pantomime was born, with Babes in the Wood being staged at the Leisure Centre in February 1979. This proved to be so successful, both artistically and financially, that it too became an annual event, involving over 150 adults and children on stage and behind the scenes, and being watched by an annual audience of around 1500.
The Festival Committee has now been in existence since 1977, an amazing feat for an organisation set up for a one-off event.
The Roy Bennett Award
The festival Committee has presented this award annually to a student at Shavington High School who has excelled in the field of Performing Arts.
Festival fun over the past 40 years.