Alan Davies to open Hampstead Summer Festival 2019

Alan Davies will open this year's Hampstead Summer Festival

Alan Davies will open this year's Hampstead Summer Festival - Credit: Archant

The QI comic will officially unveil a trio of community days out, starting on June 23 with a dog show and art fair at Whitestone Pond

Art Fair at Whitestone Pond is part of the Hampstead Summer Festival

Art Fair at Whitestone Pond is part of the Hampstead Summer Festival - Credit: Archant

Actor and comedian Alan Davies will officially open this year’s Hampstead Summer Festival, which organisers pledge will be the biggest event yet.

Now in its ninth year, the annual celebration is spread over two weeks, kicking off on June 23 with the Art Fair at Whitestone Pond and the All Dogs Matter dog show.

A regular contestant on QI, Davies will get proceedings off to a comedic start on the Sunday with a day out which includes an open art exhibition, a children’s art competition, family activities, clay modelling, live music and the chance to buy both paintings of local landmarks and items from craft and food stalls.

The free event also boasts stunning views of the Heath towards the city of London from the highest geographical point in London.

On Saturday June 29 the annual Garden Party at Keats Community Library in Keats Grove is always a firm favourite with families. Children are entertained with face-painting, rhyme-time, storytelling, and a treasure hunt, while the adults enjoy tea and delicious cake, on the lawn under the tree where Keats wrote Ode to a Nightingale.

As a bonus this year there will be an appearance by a well-known children’s author.

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The festival rounds off with the Big Fair on July 7 when more than 120 stalls will line Heath Street and attractions include a funfair, birds of prey, donkey rides, a circus school, and a chess challenge.

The summer event will rock to music from jazz to hip hop and the soundtrack to lively dance and sports demonstrations.

The festival raises much needed funds for two local charities, Keats Community Library and Hampstead School of Art.

The Art School is a non-profit making charity which brings creativity into the lives of Hampstead residents and funds raised from past festivals have enabled the art school to support learners with differences, widen participation and develop skills.

Meanwhile the library goes from strength to strength, providing the latest books for adults to borrow, and a fabulous children’s library, used by both young families and local primary schools.

Funds raised by the festival will enable the library to replace heavily worn children’s books to ensure the next generation can enjoy these much-loved stories.

Festival Organiser Els Bauer, said: “We are really excited about this year’s event. It brings people together to celebrate our vibrant community. After nine years, local people know about it and put it in their diaries, and people come from all over north London for the super street food and the happy atmosphere.

“It’s really rewarding to bring thousands of visitors into our beautiful Hampstead village, and to see so many people having fun.”