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Top five things to do in Hampstead and Highgate this week

09:24 30 June 2014

Hampstead Summer Festival

Hampstead Summer Festival's Big Fair. Picture: Polly Hancock

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The annual Hampstead Summer Festival and Big Fair, the Highgate Choral Society’s final concert and music at the Parliament Hill bandstand are just some of the things featured in our top five this week.

1. Sunday - Hampstead Summer Festival

The annual Hampstead Summer Festival (HSF) returns for a week of art, culture and community celebrations.

Opening with the much-loved Big Fair on Sunday (11am to 5pm), Heath Street will be transformed into a colourful carnival street party with bustling stalls selling artisan food, drink and crafts.

Family entertainment includes fairground rides, a street circus, dance performances, donkey rides and falconry - all to a backdrop of live music.

Also making an appearance will be the interactive SportZone, offering mini-tennis competitions, penalty shoot-outs and live martial arts demonstrations.

From Monday until the following Saturday the festivities continue with daily celebrations of Hampstead’s historic houses, restaurants and shops.

For more information on the week’s events and how to enter the HSF raffle, visit hampsteadsummerfestival.com.

All funds raised this year will be donated to Age UK Camden’s Henderson Court Resource Centre and Keats Community Library.

2. Saturday and Sunday – Jester Festival

The 42nd annual Fortune Green/West Hampstead Jester Festival arrives this weekend with a packed two days of live music, art shows and stalls. Dog shows, face painting and circus acts will keep the kids entertained while festival stalls offer the adults the chance to buy arts and crafts, bric-à-brac, books, homemade baked goods, potted plants and herbs. The weekend will also see several open sports events, a traditional funfair, a climbing wall, various arts projects, and an under-six Kids Tent with storytelling and art.

Entry is free, as are many of the activities. For a full programme of what’s on, visit jesterfestival.co.uk.

3. Saturday – Young Music Makers

Music lovers are invited to the Parliament Hill bandstand as the Young Music Makers (YMM) return for their annual summer concert. YMM is a Saturday music school based at William Ellis School in Highgate Road. Jazz, blues and drum & bass tunes will all be performed on the day by the group’s top bands, including the YMM Big Band. Those attending are advised to bring a picnic and sit back and enjoy young musicians performing some classic and contemporary music.

Starts at 3pm. This is a free event.

4. Sunday – London Permaculture

The London Permaculture Network returns for its annual “fun and fact-filled day”, bringing together people from all over the capital and beyond who are interested in finding creative solutions for a sustainable, healthy future. Held at Cecil Sharp House in Regent’s Park Road, Primrose Hill, the day will see presentations, workshops and hands-on ‘how to’ sessions as well as live music, storytelling and grassroots films. Learn about beekeeping, urban gardening, and how to be part of a food growers network. A kids’ zone and lots of stalls to browse all things sustainable will also be available.

Runs 11am to 6pm. Tickets £6 (£4 concs, under 18s free). Visit londonpermaculturefestival.com for a full programme of events and to book.

5. Saturday - Choir

Highgate Choral Society presents its final concert of the season at All Hallows Church in Savernake Road, Hampstead. The programme features the work of two of Britain’s 20th century music giants, William Walton and Ralph Vaughan Williams, featuring Belshazzar’s Feast (Walton) alongside Five Mystical Songs (Williams). HCS’s concert programme also includes Williams’ overture from The Wasps as well as The Lark Ascending. There will be a free pre-concert talk at 6.20pm by musical director for HCS, Ronald Corp.

Tickets between £13 and £23. Book at hcschoir.com.

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