FANGFEST, the celebration of pottery, crafts, art and scarecrows in Fangfoss, will return on September 4 and 5 after a Covid-enforced hiatus in 2020.
“We didn’t hold it last year but we carried out a questionnaire around the village to see what the residents thought about holding it this year,” says Lyn Grant, who co-organises the festival of practical arts with husband and fellow potter Gerry Grant in the village ten miles east of York.
“There were a few who didn’t want it to go ahead, but the majority did, and that’s why it’s back! The original idea of Fangfest was to try and get visitors to be involved and perhaps encourage them to pick up a craft or hobby. So, many of the exhibitors will be demonstrating and talking about their work with opportunities for people to have a go themselves.”
To keep Fangfest 2021 as Covid-safe as possible, much of the festival will take place outdoors. “At Fangfoss Pottery, at The Old School, we’re holding a ‘Play with Clay Zone’ in the pottery garden under gazebos, where visitors can have a go on the wheel, paint and decorate a little pot and make their own version of the ‘Lambton Worm’. These activities will be free,” says Lyn.
“Inside the pottery, we have re-organised things. For the first time in 46 years, Gerry will move his wheel to enable pottery-throwing demonstrations to take place safely. Outside, there’ll be raku-firing demonstrations.”
The weekend of art and crafts for all the family will combine art, pottery, illustration, jewellery, printmaking, archery, wood carving, textiles, willow weaving, classic cars, East Yorkshire history, food and scarecrows. Entry will be free.
An archaeology display spanning the Stone Age to Victorian times will be on show in St Martin’s Church, featuring artefacts found in the area, with some available to be handled, plus a “Guess the mystery objects” section. Outside the church, members of a history society from Stamford Bridge will discuss their work.
“Fangfoss residents will be showing just how artistic they are when it comes to making scarecrows and there’ll be a scarecrow trail around the village,” says Lyn. “That’s why you’re invited to make a Lambton Worm. Lambton and his worm are going to be my scarecrow this
“There’ll be plenty of art and crafts on display, spread around the village green and down at the Rocking Horse Shop in Main Street. Taking part will be willow workers, felt makers, medieval tilers, stained-glass workers and decorative forged-iron makers, to name but a few.
“At the Rocking Horse Shop, you can watch how rocking horses are made. Beyond the shop there’ll be an opportunity to have a go at archery. Look out too for a small classic car show on The Green.”
Refreshments will be available at the Carpenters Arms and the Jubilee Park
Committee will host a barbecue and serve teas in the Rocking Horse yard.
Fangfest will run from 10am to 4pm each day and will be opened officially by Geoff Sheasby, Pocklington’s Town Crier for 20 years, on the Saturday. He will judge the scarecrows and award a special prize, although a public vote will be held too. Tony Dew will award the best “Fangs” prize.
For more information, go to: facebook/fangfest.