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The 10th annual Peterborough Heritage Festival welcomed over 30,000 people to the city on the weekend of June 16 and 17, with more family friendly activities and displays than ever before.

The festival takes place each year as part of a collaboration between Vivacity, Peterborough Cathedral and Peterborough City Council. For the past 4 years, the festival has also been sponsored by Perkins.

This year’s ‘Festival of Celebrations’ marked the first centenary of the end of World War I, 100 years since women first won the right to vote and also 900 years of Peterborough Cathedral.

Highlights of the family friendly weekend included battle re-enactments and living history displays, fire-juggling medieval minstrel ‘Fiery Jack’ and his gang, as well as ‘This is Peterborough,’ an outdoor family play in the Cathedral’s Bishop’s Palace Gardens which told the story of Peterborough’s 3,000 year history through jokes, songs and audience interaction.

Peterborough Heritage Festival 2018 in numbers:

  1. 32,370 people visited the city centre across Sat 16 – Sun 17 June as part of the festival celebrations

  2. Over 100 staff and volunteers gave up over 500 hours of their time to make Peterborough Heritage Festival one of the largest cultural events in the city

  3. 11 different communities from Peterborough were represented in the brand new ‘Cultural Treasures’ tent, including dancers, artists, cooks and musicians from Lithuanian, Portuguese and Afro-Carribbean communities as well as many more

What people had to say:

“It was our first year going to the Heritage Festival and we really enjoyed it. We will be going every year now, it was a brilliant afternoon.” – Jenna Laud on Facebook

“I go to the Heritage Fest every year with a friend and her children and we absolutely love it. Lots to see and get involved with. Lost count of the amount of times I heard the word ‘wow’ from the kids!” – Sarah Lou on TripAdvisor

“It was an excellent day out watching historic reenactments, stalls and the museum. Well organised and fun. A great day out.” – Michael H on TripAdvisor

Vivacity’s Director of Culture, Richard Hunt, said “We at Vivacity are so proud of our legacy of staging free events such as Peterborough Heritage Festival which allows us to make culture accessible to families of all ages and backgrounds in the city. This work of course could not take place however without the support of our sponsors, Perkins, as well as Peterborough Cathedral and Peterborough City Council who kindly lend us their spaces.”

The Festival also celebrated the launch of some exciting new developments in Peterborough:

  1. The ‘This is Peterborough’ play announced the launch of – a brand new website from Vivacity, full of stories of the city’s history aims to help schools studying local history.

  2. This year’s brand new Cultural Treasures tent also signified the announcement of two new ‘Treasures’ exhibitions from Vivacity at Peterborough Museum, the first of which runs from August 25 – January 6, 2019 and showcases 6 national treasures from Peterborough, displayed in the same place in their hometown for the first time ever.

  3. Peterborough Cathedral welcome British astronaut Tim Peake’s ‘Soyuz’ spacecraft within their grounds from August 11 – November 5.

  4. Vivacity’s next big city event, ‘Once Upon A Festival,’ is the city’s second ever storytelling festival and takes place at Central Park on Saturday August 11.

You can find out more about each of these online at

Photos: Chris Brudenell for ESP Magazine


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