‘Let’s celebrate what we love about Highgate’: Highgate Festival launches week of events tomorrow

A bird's eye view of Highgate. Picture: Highgate School

A bird's eye view of Highgate. Picture: Highgate School - Credit: Archant

The annual Highgate Festival begins today (Thu) and runs until Tuesday, July 10, with a gamut of events planned.

These include a much-awaited community art show on that will have a private viewing at Highgate Newtown Community Centre on Friday evening at 5pm.

This weekend will then see an international dance festival at St Michael’s School on Saturday morning from 11, while on Sunday, a jazz performance from young Highgate musicians at Lauderdale House will take place between 2.30 and 4.30.

However, these are just some of the more than 35 events planned at the festival organised in partnership between Highgate School and the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum. More details, and the event programme, can be found around Highgate.

Sarah Butterworth, a director at Highgate School told the Ham&High: “Promoting creativity and the arts, a theme very close to our hearts at Highgate, we are proud to be running the Highgate Festival this year, alongside the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum.

“The Festival has been revived to celebrate all the things the community love about Highgate and it has been a great way to get to know so many of the wonderful institutions in Highgate and its immediate surroundings.”

After the Highgate Neighbourhood Plan was adopted in July last year, organisers hope the festival’s revival will play a key part in driving social integration across Highgate.

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Alicia Pivaro, Chair of the Highgate Neighbourhood Forum said: “In July 2017, the community-led Neighbourhood Plan was adopted with a social ambition to improve physical and social links between different parts of the area and different social and age groups and we hope the Festival will achieve this aim.”

The festival brings together more than 20 organisations — from the Highgate Literary and Scientific Institution to the Gatehouse pub — and across the five days events will draw attention to different swathes of community.

Although the festival officially last five days, many of the exhibitions will be open for longer.

All over Highgate notable women from the village’s history will be celebrated, while there’s even set to be an entertaining history of Highgate’s shops explained in the shops themselves - both of these attractions will continue until July 15.

Festival organisers thanked local groups for an “overwhelming response” and they hope a successful week will lead to the Highgate Festival becoming a permanent addition to the community calendar.