3 May, 2019
For the first time in its almost 20-year history, Blaenavon World Heritage Day is being organised entirely by local residents.
When Torfaen County Borough Council withdrew funding and administrative support of the event last year, the World Heritage Day committee decided it could still run the festival as long as there was still volunteer support.
Blaenavon Town Council has met some of the funding shortfall by agreeing to a £10,000 grant towards staging the day, which organisers are confident can be managed comfortably within the smaller budget.
“Of course we were a little anxious when Torfaen announced that due to their own funding cuts, they were withdrawing their support,” said Cllr Gareth Davies, Chair of the World Heritage Day Committee and Mayor of Blaenavon.
“However, the response from residents has been fantastic and we’re looking forward to hosting a slightly smaller event this year. That experience will help us build towards staging something special for the 20th anniversary celebrations next year.
“We are indebted to the Town Council for their grant, without which we undoubtedly could not have gone ahead. The Council realises that we mustn’t lose the opportunity to annually commemorate one of the most important occasions in Blaenavon’s recent history. And one which marks the most important part of Blaenavon’s history, full stop.”
The theme for the World Heritage Day parade on Saturday June 29 is ‘People Who Help Us’, such as fire fighters, police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers and school crossing patrollers – and the committee is appealing to community groups and local people show their pride by dressing accordingly.
The parade is the centrepiece of a full day of activities featuring stalls, live music, dancing and a wealth of other attractions for all the family
“Most of the musicians and dancers are local,” said Cllr Davies. “Blaenavon Male Voice Choir is appearing, the live stage will be headlined by exciting new local band Full Dark No Stars, and there will be a taster of some of the dancers set to return for the Dance on the Mountain festival in July.”
For further information on taking part, please contact Cllr Davies on 07738 455534.