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Popular Town Centre events to return

Published: 04/05/2022
Carnival of the baubles

Ashford Borough Council is pleased to announce that popular Town Centre events are making a comeback this year – so make a note in your diary!

Planning for events are currently underway for this year, and more details will be revealed. In the meantime the community can save the date and look out for details on how they can get involved via the Love Ashford website.

Summer: The Fabric of Ashford – Events throughout, grand finale Saturday 20 August 2022.
Winter: Carnival of the Baubles – Saturday 3 December 2022

The Council have re-appointed Emergency Exit Arts (EEA) to continue delivering a programme of exciting, family-friendly, creative events to improve our cultural offer in the Town Centre.

Since summer 2019 Emergency Exit Arts have worked with Ashford Borough Council alongside a range of local organisations and artists to deliver events including The Great British Bark Off, Ashford Banners, Carnival of the Baubles and Fabric of Ashford.

These projects delivered around 70 workshops for school children, community groups and the general public, reaching almost 3,000 participants including 1,410 students. The events also involved the support and engagement of 30 local businesses, 15 local artists and 12 community groups including some from Ashford’s refugee communities.

The footfall driving events attracted an estimated audience of 16,150 coming in the town centre, with an estimate of up to 175,000 people to have seen the Fabric of Ashford Bandstand installations for the duration of summer 2021.

Some of the feedback we received from last year’s Carnival of the baubles event include:

“So thankful to be living in a town filled with hope and community”
Audience member

Melissa Dawkins, The Craftship Enterprise CIC, said “We loved helping to deliver the Fabric of Ashford and Carnival of the Baubles events last year. Our Carnival of the Baubles workshops enabled members of the public to get involved by making their own lanterns for the parade and every workshop sold out!

"The lantern parade itself was so much fun and it brought in people from all across the borough. Our Made in Ashford shop saw a 38% increase in sales on event day and increased footfall throughout the day too.

Cllr. Matthew Forest, Portfolio Holder for Culture, Tourism and Leisure and Cllr Nathan Iliffe, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration and Corporate Property, said “We are pleased to extend our relationship with EEA, they are an impressive community events company and we know that our residents have really enjoyed attending the various events we have put on over the past few years.

Hopefully continuously moving forwards we can all look forward to spending time out and about and visiting our Town Centre and enjoying the entertainment being arranged.”

The full report can be found at the EEA's website.