The annual Worcester Festival finale fireworks display on the August bank holiday Monday has become a highlight of the Faithful city’s calendar, having brought the Worcester Festival to a close each year since the Festival’s launch back in 2003. However, this year the Festival will break with tradition and forgo the display, which costs the Festival many thousands of pounds, in favour of a whole host of new community events that will take place throughout the duration of the Festival.

Festival Director Chris Jaeger said: “This has been a big decision for us, and one that we have not taken lightly, but we believe that this is the right time for a change, and that this decision will allow us to move the Festival forward in a really positive way.

In recent years, we have become increasingly conscious of the need to consider the bigger impact of the fireworks, and to weigh up whether the amount of money spent on the display can be justified. We have been listening to the local community, and taking on board their concerns regarding the environmental impact of the fireworks. We also understand that for many pet owners and farmers the fireworks can be an unwelcome source of distress. Many people have also expressed the view that twelve minutes is not long enough to justify such a lot of money simply ‘going up in smoke’. And we have come to agree with them.

The really positive news is that the money can instead be spent on a whole host of exciting things that everybody can enjoy. More free street theatre, more free workshops; more free events all round – even some free concerts this year. We always want to put on lots of great things for children, for families and for everyone, and the money freed up will enable us to offer more free community events than ever before. Watch out for flash mobs, bands, beer, a murder mystery, street theatre, live music, workshops, relaxed performances, concerts, dance, Shakespeare, walks, talks, face painting, food, markets, a Cathedral animal-blessing service, bell-ringing, chess, quizzes, treasure trails, tours, and much, much more!”

The Worcester Festival will return for its 17th year this summer, kicking off on Saturday 10th August and running right through to the August bank holiday on Monday 26th August, with events and activities happening all over the city every single day.

Visit www.worcesterfestival.co.uk or call the Box Office on 01905 611427 to find out more.