Aylesbury set for Big Friendly Roald Dahl Festival – and which CBeebies presenter will be cooking up a treat?

The Roald Dahl Festival Parade in Aylesbury Town Centre
The Roald Dahl Festival Parade in Aylesbury Town Centre

The Roald Dahl Festival on Saturday, July 2 will be more spectacular and revolting than ever before when Aylesbury marks 100 years since the author’s birth.

This year the Vale’s biggest community arts event is themed around The BFG, Dahl’s story about the Big Friendly Giant who sets out to rid the world of bad giants with the help of friend Sophie in his top pocket.

Katy Ashworth

Katy Ashworth

For the first time, celebrity CBeebies chef Katy Ashworth will invite visitors to try awfully fabulous recipes inspired by the stories of Roald Dahl.

The festival this year also offers an exciting opportunity for children to hear direct from their favourite authors about their books and characters.

There will be one-hour sessions with Jim Smith (author of the Barry Loser and Future Ratboy books) and Andy Stanton (author of the Mr Gum books), who will bring their characters to life as they read from their award-winning stories and run extra fun activities related to them. Space is limited for these author sessions and tickets must be bought in advance.

A Carnival of Characters inspired by the books of Roald Dahl will wow the crowds and one lucky child will win the chance to be part of Aylesbury’s Christmas lights switch on in November.

The parade kicks off the 14th annual Roald Dahl Festival day, leaving St Mary’s Church at 11am on its circular route through the town centre. Music and street theatre continue throughout the day, and different venues will offer activities including quirky crafts, fab food, live music, inflatables, games and storytelling.

Most activities are free. The event is organised by Aylesbury Vale District Council.

Councillor Angela Macpherson, cabinet member for leisure, communities and civic amenities, said: “In the year that Roald Dahl would have been 100 years old, it’s wonderful to see our annual celebration of his incredible stories reaching new heights and expanding to welcome others who share our passion.

“Our annual Roald Dahl Festival is not just a great day out for the family.

“It’s also a wonderful tribute to Roald Dahl’s imagination and his ongoing legacy of encouraging children to love reading.”

The Roald Dahl Festival is supported by Mix 96 and Aylesbury Town Council. Most activities are free but tickets (£5 per person) for the author sessions need to be bought in advance.

For more details, ticket sales or to register a child for the Carnival of Characters go to www.aylesburyvaledc.gov.uk/dahl