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TWO of the biggest events in the Melksham calendar are just around the corner, as the Food & River Festival and Comic Con bring the summer holidays to an exciting conclusion.
There will be fun for all the family as the popular events draw crowds into the town over the next two weekends.
Melksham Comic Con is first, taking over the Assembly Hall this weekend. All things sci-fi will be on offer at the growing convention including artist exhibitions, workshops, games and activities, and a costume competition.
The convention runs from 10am – 5pm on Saturday 29th August, and 11am – 5pm on Sunday 30th. Tickets are no longer available to buy in advance, but may be sold on the door.
Melksham Food and River Festival will then take place on the 5th and 6th September in the Littlebrook Centre and King George V Playing Field.
The popular food and river festivals have merged for the first time this year, and are hoping to provide a weekend full of good food, music, activities, and stalls for all the family. There will be cooking demonstrations, boat rides, and live music on offer throughout the weekend.
Littlefest will start the weekend, running from 10am – 3pm on Saturday 5th in the Littlebrook Centre, before the main festival takes place from 10.30am – 4pm in the park on Sunday 6th.
TICKETS are flying off the shelves in the lead up to this year’s Melksham Comic Con, which takes place at the Assembly Hall this weekend.
Melksham Assembly Hall will come to life with superheroes, villains and all things sci fi as the annual convention kicks off on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th August.
Last year’s event – the biggest ever – was the first full weekend, and the team will be hoping to replicate its success with two days packed with special guest writers and artists, workshops, games and the popular Cosplay competition on Sunday.
Organiser, town councillor and owner of Komix!, Hayley Spencer said, “Tickets are selling really well now the weekend is approaching! The lineup this year is looking great and the organisers are all really looking forward to it. It’s been a tough one because two of us have had babies this year and we haven’t had a major sponsor, but we’ve made it work and that’s the important thing!
“We’re running the event for two days again because it means we can offer more activities and cater to more people.
“The comic convention scene has exploded in the UK in the last five years and a lot more small events have popped up since we started. It’s reassuring to see that the industry is getting stronger and we have noticed it in Melksham.
“More and more people in the area are getting really enthusiastic about our Comic Con and help us spread the word outside the town, which is brilliant.”
The convention will run at the Melksham Assembly Hall from 10am to 5pm on Saturday 29th August, and 11am to 5pm on Sunday 30th August.
Special guests this year include people who have worked on a whole host of big name characters including Doctor Who, Spiderman, Batman, Judge Dredd and more. Mike Collins, Lee Townsend, Cavan Scott and John-Paul Bove are among the names lined up to take part.
Panels and workshops will be covering topics including Manga, working with Doctor Who, creating comics for children and an audience participation Pictionary session.
There will also be a special panel on the portrayal of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues in the comic book industry.
Hayley said, “We have fun and interactive workshops but it’s important that people know comic books aren’t all about superheroes, there are serious themes too.
“Last year we held a really successful panel on mental health, and this year we’re approaching sexuality. We want people to understand that there is support and understanding about the issues in the comic book community – I’m really looking forward to it.”
There will also be six trophies up for grabs in the Cosplay competition on Sunday 30th, so expect to see an array of weird and wonderful costumes and be sure to make your own!
To find out more about the Comic Con visit Komix! on Church Street, call them on 01225 791777 or go to www.melkshamcomiccon.com
EXCITEMENT is building ahead of Melksham’s first combined Food and River Festival on Saturday 5th & Sunday 6th September.
Melksham’s popular Food & Drink Festival will be merging with the River Festival for the first time, and organisers are expecting an exciting weekend for all the family.
Food Festival chair Adrienne Westbrook said, “It’s really quite exciting that the two events have joined forces this year, and there has been a great collaborative effort by all the organisers. We’re hoping to put on a great family fun day for local people, as well as creating something that will draw people in to the town.
“It’s a great way to promote Melksham too; we have a lovely park with a beautiful river running through it and there are a lot of great local businesses getting involved. There’s a lot to look forward to!”
The Food and River Festival will kick off with Littlefest running from 10am – 3pm on Saturday 5th September. The Littlebrook Centre behind Waitrose will host a regatta- themed day of food and live music with entertainment and food and drink from shops in the centre including CJ’s Cafe, Honey’s, Candy Jax, Andy York Photography and Waitrose. There will also be boat rides and canoeing sessions on the river in the afternoon.
The main event, the Food and River Festival Fair, will then take place on Sunday 6th September in King George V Playing Field from 10.30am to 4.30pm. The festival will have boat rides on the river all day, as well as canoeing taster sessions, live folk music from Wessex Contraband, a chilli-eating contest, a balloon release and over 50 stalls from food sellers and local organisations.
There will also be demonstrations from Bradford on Avon diving club, the fire service, and cooking demonstrations from Waitrose, Paella King and Casa.
“As well as providing a fun family day out,” Adrienne continued, “the Food and River Festival aims to raise the profile of Melksham, its local businesses, and the river as a leisure and wildlife resource.
“We want to add to the town’s sense of community spirit and civic pride, and draw people’s attention to the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust, Melksham Link Project, and local charities and organisations.”
The Food and River Festival is run by volunteers alongside the Wilts and Berks Canal Trust, Melksham Town Council, and event sponsor Waitrose.
For more information and the full programme visit www.melkshamfoodfestival.weebly.com or contact Melksham Town Hall on 01225 704187.