Five things to do this weekend (July 4-5)

People browse the market at the Cotswold Show and Food Festival

People browse the market at the Cotswold Show and Food Festival - Credit: Archant

This July is full of family festival fun right around the Cotswolds. Here’s our pick of five things to see and do this weekend (July 4-5)

Dogs compete at the Cotswold Show and Food Festival

Dogs compete at the Cotswold Show and Food Festival - Credit: Archant

The Cotswold Show and Food Festival, Cirencester

Saturday-Sunday July 4-5

Two days, 100 acres, hundreds of attractions and 40,000 visitors – the Cotswold Show is now one of the most popular on the regional Country Show calendar. The festival, now in its 27th year, will entertain audiences with high octane motorcycle, car and quadbike stunts, a Spitfire air display, dog shows, pony races, polo, rare breeds parade, falconry and much more. There will be a dedicated food festival with chef demonstrations from the likes of Andrew Kojima as well as fifty produces selling everything from strawberries and cupcakes to sausages and bread. Plus plenty of have-a-go country pursuits such as archery and shooting. The perfect way to enjoy rural Gloucestershire with the family! For more information, visit:

Morris Dancing at Eynsham Festival

Morris Dancing at Eynsham Festival - Credit: Archant

Eynsham Carnival, Eynsham

Saturday July 4

The Eynsham Carnival is one of the oldest carnivals in the country, and will be returning this Saturday July 4 for its 69th year. A particular draw to the carnival, and deserving of inclusion in our list of the quirkiest Cotswold traditions, is the eccentric Eynsham Shirt Race, first run in 1958. On carnival day, the brave and feckless assemble in fancy dress, each team armed with a non-motorised vehicle, designed, engineered and built to last the seven furlongs of the race. The race is essentially an elaborate pub crawl; the competitors must run between seven pubs, one for every furlong, and each of the two-person teams swap pusher and vehicle rider after every quick half-pint en route. The first team to reach the White Hart pub is crowned victorious! The Carnival also features a parade, Morris dancing, marching bands, raffle, street entertainment, as well as plenty of live music and children’s activities. Food and drink stalls will offer a range of hot and cold produce, and the craft fair will include over 30 tables selling everything from pottery to cushions. For more information, visit:

Festival in the Forest

Festival in the Forest - Credit: Archant

Festival In The Forest, Whitemead Forest Park

Saturday July 4-5

Kick start your summer holidays with two days of free family fun in the enchanted Forest of Dean. There will be a dedicated music stage with local musicians and tribute acts throughout the weekend, a food and drink marquee with over fifty local producers offering everything from ice cream to sausages, a traditional funfair, an arts and craft marquee with unique jewellery, textiles, ceramics and much more. Children can learn circus skills from the masters, there’s have-a-go archery, fencing, bush craft skills, stroytelling, African drumming as well as family rugby. Plus live demonstrations and workshops including guide dogs, birds of prey, cookery, pottery and graffiti! That’s a lot of free fun! For more information, visit:

The Stow Festival, celebrating US Independence

The Stow Festival, celebrating US Independence - Credit: Archant

Stow Cotswold Festival, Stow-on-the-Wold

Saturday July 4

Stow Cotswold Festival celebrates America’s Independence Day on July 4. Stars and Stripes will fly beside Union Flags; Stetsons and American-style refreshments will star alongside straw hats and traditional cream teas. The biennial extravaganza marks Stow-on-the-Wold’s unique Friendship Link with the US town of Appomattox. The British town staged the last major skirmish of the English Civil War at which Parliamentarians routed Royalists in the 1646 Battle of Stow. Appomattox witnessed The Battle of Appomattox Court House, one of the American Civil War’s final clashes in 1865. The Festival will include a summer fair, live music, a Cotswold market, tombola, treasure hunt, an American Tea Party among other activities over the day. There will also be a Sewing Bee during which Stow & District Civic Society will make a unique quilt to present to the community of Apoomattox, Virginia, to cement the link between the two towns. For more details, visit:

Midsummer Fiesta in Cheltenham

Midsummer Fiesta in Cheltenham - Credit: Archant

Midsummer Fiesta, Cheltenham

Saturday July 4

Midsummer Fiesta returns to Cheltenham’s Montpellier Gardens in 2015 for another day showcasing the talents of the diverse communities of Cheltenham. The free fiesta features activities including fairground rides, go karts, arts and crafts, live music from ska to samba, sports and more, with two bars and six food outlets serving delicious food and drink. For more information, visit:

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