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Olympics live on in village festival
A VILLAGE festival featuring sports, crafts and crocodiles aims to keep the Olympic spirit alive and kicking in Oxfordshire. The festival at Stanton St John near Oxford has been running since 1969, but this year it marks the start of series of Community Games in Oxfordshire which aim to capture the spirit of the Olympics by bringing communities together with sport.
The two-day event, tomorrow and on Monday, features art installations and demonstrations around the village from local sculptors and painters, along with a mini Olympics for children to emulate their sporting heroes.
Festival chairman Russell Warner said: “It takes over Stanton from one end of the village to the other. It is about the whole village partying together, but also inviting people to come and see what Stanton is like.
“The emphasis is on providing a platform for local artists, but we have also been fortunate to align with the Community Games project and link into the Olympic legacy which is very exciting.”
Witney’s Shaun Foggett, whose crocodile farm on an industrial estate appeared on TV, will be bringing some of his reptiles for children to hold, alongside falconry displays.
Last year the villagers welcomed about 4,000 visitors and raised £9,000 for local causes including St John Baptist Church and the Holford Centre in the village. This year organisers are hoping to break the £10,000 barrier.
As well as the arts and crafts demonstrations, there will be an eclectic selection of music from live jazz to Marsh Gibbon Silver Band.
Other attractions include a display of Morgan Cars and traditional wellie-wanging and tug o’ war competitions.
There will be plenty of local produce for sale, including a country market at Simms Close, and cold smoothie drinks from Juice Dub, a converted VW campervan.
The festival runs from 1pm to 6pm, tomorrow and on Monday. The entrance fee is £4.00 per adult and accompanying children go free.
Community Games is a national programme which sees towns and villages across the UK celebrate the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Events are also being held in Middle Barton on Thursday, Witney on Thursday, September 6, and Farmoor on Saturday, September 15.
The project started in the West Midlands in 2010 and, with the support of the charity Legacy Trust UK, it has spread across the country.
To find out more about organising an event, visit communitygames.org.uk