Shoe trails, interactive history tours and a circus are among the family events set for Northampton town centre this summer holiday.
Launching at the end of July, Northampton Borough Council and Northampton Town Centre Business Improvement District (BID) will be hosting a number of family-friendly activities during the week and each weekend from the end of July until September 15.
The activities aim to celebrate the town’s heritage, with many themed around shoes and past events, and support local businesses by encouraging more people to spend time in the town centre.
Looking Glass Theatre will host a series of historical tours from July 20 at various locations in the town centre. The twice-monthly tours will cover topics such as ‘Famous Figures’, ‘Rebels and Trades’ and ‘Hidden Secrets’.
The council’s Market Square beach will take place on Tuesday, July 23 bringing all the attractions of the seaside to the town centre. A giant sand-pit, deck chairs and fairground rides will be open every day until August 31, weather permitting.
A newly developed shoe sculpture trail will also help followers to discover new parts of the town, the council says.
Those taking part will be encouraged to seek out all 12 shoe sculptures, which are sponsored by local businesses and shoe manufacturers, and post selfies of themselves using the #CelebrateNorthampton hashtag.
Four heritage focused days will then take place on August 5,6,7 and 8. These will see a catwalk show, classic bus tours and a series of theatrical mystery tours taking place at several points throughout the day. In addition, there will be an interactive heritage treasure quest on August 17.
Children will get the chance to meet Northampton’s boot-wearing giant on Saturday, August 10. The giant, created by the Festive Road group, will be 'sharing stories' on the Market Square at hourly intervals between 12pm and 3.30pm.
Northampton Town Centre BID's Northampton Memories scheme launches on August 26. The project is all about celebrating the town centre’s unique history, with photo displays popping up in shop windows until September 14.
September will see the return of the popular Northampton Town Centre BID Street Circus. BID says many of the UK’s 'best street entertainment acts', including stilt walkers, dancers, contortionists and comedians will be on hand to entertain shoppers in the Market Square on September 7.
Heritage Open Days help to bring proceedings to a close on September 14 and 15. More than 30 historic venues across the town will be opening their doors to the public across the weekend, with many linked up by a free heritage bus service from Georges’ Row.
Councillor Anna King, cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “Responding to the Overview and Scrutiny report on heritage, we’ve worked hard with Northampton Town Centre BID to develop plans, which celebrate our rich history, raise awareness of local shoe companies and support businesses.
“We’re really excited to be launching the activities on July 24, most of which are free to the public, and encourage as many people as possible to come along and enjoy the summer fun.”
Mark Mullen, BID Operations Manager, added: “By working together we have created a fantastic series of events, all designed to entice visitors into the town centre while also celebrating our town’s unique heritage and cultural offering. Wait until you see what we have planned for Christmas!”
More information about all of the events and activities taking place throughout July, August and September is available from July 24 in the #CelebrateNorthampton summer brochure as well as at lovenorthampton.co.uk.