The BIG events in North Wales for Summer 2013
- Credit: Archant
COMPILED BY HOWARD BRADBURY
July 3 to 10
Pull on your boots for the tenth Conwy Walking Week. The programme includes favourites such as the Huy Tom walk from Penmaenmawr to Rowen and a walk past the Craig Lwyd ancient Stone Age axe factory, a family-friendly walk around Llyn Crafnant and shorter walks such as the Lady Mary’s Audio Trail. There are also night walks, and walks which include foraging and wild swimming.
Caernarfon Show is the annual showcase for the North Wales Agricultural Society, with judging of horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, terriers and lurchers, rabbits and poultry. There will also be a sheep-shearing competition, an array of vintage tractors, shire horse displays, terrier racing and agility dog display.
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July 12 to 14
Where on earth would you find watery derring-do, a packed programme of bands and DJs and a selection of nosh from hog roast to Tibetan nibbles? Wakestock, that’s where. In the beautiful setting of the Llyn Peninsula, this festival combines a wakeboarding competition in Pwllheli Marina with a proper music festival at a site overlooking Cardigan Bay featuring a line-up including Example, James, Bastille, Rudimental Live and Magnetic Man. wakestock.co.uk, 0844 888 9991
Still on the road at the age of 85, Ken Dodd’s seemingly never-ending Happiness tour returns to the Rhyl Pavilion. No doubt another Saturday night when the legendarily long-winded comic will threaten to put the babysitters into overtime.
rhylpavilion.co.uk, 01745 330000
July 20 to 28
The ancient pastime of messing about in boats is elevated to a fine art with the Conwy River Festival, now in its 20th year. There is racing involving seriously quick mariners (Olympians), more relaxed competitors (Trojans) and the novices (Corinthians), a La-La Rally – a cruise for yachts and motor boats from the Liverpool Arms, Conwy, to the Liverpool Arms, Menai Bridge, and back – and much more.
Anyone sufficiently stricken in years knows they don’t make ‘em like they used to...cars that is. Back in the day, they were more beautiful, and more prone to rust, which is why it’s heartening so many pristine examples survive to take part in the classic car show at Bodelwyddan Castle. Five hundred display vehicles, including motorcycles, are expected, plus a concours competition and autojumble.
classicshows.org, 01484 667776
July 22 to January 2014
Falcon Hildred is a Grimsby-born artist fascinated with mill towns and mining towns – places with cranes and viaducts, huddled housing and grime. An industrial designer by trade, he has spent much of his life recording industrial archeology and now lives in Blaenau Ffestiniog. Worktown, an exhibition of his drawings, opens at the National Slate Museum, Llanberis.
museumwales.ac.uk, 02920 573700
July 26 and 27
Is there anything more British than a flower show in an Edwardian vicarage garden in mid-summer with a brass band playing? Indeed not. Hotfoot it, then, to Prestatyn Flower Show where beautiful blooms are guaranteed, along with a classic car display, live jazz and brass band music and much more.
July 27 and 28
Do you hanker for the age of steam, the swinging sixties and black and white TV? Head for the station at Llangollen where a 1960s Weekend will try to make you forget that the 45 years since the end of the steam age ever happened. There is an intensive timetable, so you can travel ‘60s-style along this heritage railway, a 1960s transport display, live music on the station on Saturday night, a real ale festival and lots of people dressed as mods, rockers and hippies. Be there or be square.
The show is titled Gagging Order, but there’s really no shutting him up. Jimmy Carr, master of the withering put-down and possessor of the strangest laugh in showbiz, comes to Venue Cymru, Llandudno as part of an immensely successful tour. ‘Leave your conscience, sense of common decency and moral compass at home and come on out for a laugh’ is the advice.
venuecymru.co.uk, 01492 872000
August 3 to September 7
The Royal Cambrian Academy in Conwy unveils its annual summer exhibition, at which academicians present their latest works. One illustrious artist with two works in the show is the academy’s patron, Prince Charles.
rcaconwy.org, 01492 593413
Boys will be boys, and boys will also be girls in this version of Shakespeare’s As You Like It at Caernarfon Castle. The Lord Chamberlain’s Men present an all-male production of a romantic comedy which entails a boy playing a girl, who disguises herself as a boy and pretends to be a girl in order to woo a boy, who doesn’t know that the boy is a girl with whom he has previously fallen in love. Glad we got that one straight.
cadw.wales.gov.uk , 01286 685222
August 31 and September 1
Rhyl Air Show is expected to be bigger than ever this year – quite a claim when last year’s two-day airborne extravaganza attracted 130,000 spectators. Star of the show this year – weather and mechanicals permitting – will be the last remaining flying Vulcan bomber, whose delta wings and roaring Olympus jet engines make it one of the most imposing aircraft ever. Also expected are the Red Arrows display team.
September 5 to 8
Big hats, big hearts and twangsome melodies will dominate proceedings at Vaynol Country Music Festival, a four-day event featuring the likes of the John Permenter Band, the Swing Commanders, Iona and Andy and Henry Smith Band. It’s at the Vaynol Estate, Bangor, and hardy souls can camp...just like cowboys.
vaynolfest.co.uk, 01248 511830