The masters of fun Shropshire Festivals will be bringing a FREE event to Shrewsbury this July.
A Mile of Smiles is set to bring all kinds of pop up entertainment to town from 10am to 4pm on Sunday, July 25, along a mile-long trail, for us all to enjoy. The town will be filled with live music, poetry, circus acts, bubbles and lots of performers who will be tasked with generating smiles!
We asked Beth Heath, Director of Fun, about the inspiration behind the event and how it will work on the day.
What gave you the idea for Mile of Smiles?
Whilst we were in lockdown dreaming of events, we started fizzing with new ideas to kick start the events season. A Mile of Smiles came up as a name and the concept followed. We wanted to create a mile long trail that would generate happiness. What better way to do that than bring in all our local performers and acts who haven’t been able to do what they do best, to create something completely joyous!
This free event has been made possible with funding from the Government’s Culture Recovery Fund and support of Shrewsbury BID.
How will it work?
It’s a completely free event – we just need people to come and enjoy the day!
Visitors will start at the castle and follow the route through town down all the winding lanes to reach The Quarry. There will be a real mix of performers of all ages along the way, with stilt walkers, acrobatics, dance schools, bubbles, live music, poetry, Morris dancers and musicians. We are organising a live music stage at The Quarry where more local musicians and performers will be entertaining the crowds, who can also enjoy some delicious street food whilst they listen!
Why do we need to smile this year? : )
We need to celebrate culture and embrace live, in-person events again. Three lockdowns in, thousands of cancelled events, millions of people stuck at home – we absolutely all need some smiles and live entertainment again!
Who do you have on board to provide entertainment?
Confirmed so far we have: The Beautiful Barley Boys, ToriArts Studio, Shrewsbury Morris Dancers, the Town Crier, Kiddleydivey, Victoria Cope (stilt walker), bubbles from Jackie Clementines and Children's entertainer John Cooper-Evans. Plus street food from the Beefy Boys, Delicious Graze, Press de Cuba, Drink Up Coffee, and Ice Cream from Ken Yarwood.
Although the event will be free, look out for volunteers along the way who will be collecting for the charity Climbing Out on the day. Founded by Atlantic rower Kelda Wood, the charity aims to help adults rebuild confidence, self-esteem and motivation following a life-changing trauma, injury or illness.
Top left: the Town Crier, Martin Wood. Top right: The Beautiful Barley Boys. Bottom: Shrewsbury Morris Dancers