A POPULAR annual Whitchurch event is set to return this year, with a vibrant twist.

The Blackberry Fair has been held in Whitchurch every autumn for more than a decade but was cancelled in 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

But before the pandemic there were concerns that the 2019 running of the event may have been the last, withy funding issues proving to be a headache for the organisers.

In early 2020 the funding goals were eventually reached, allowing the event to go ahead for another year at least, but the coronavirus pandemic stopped the festival in its tracks.

But despite this disappointment, event organiser Steve Chapman is once again planning to bring noise and excitement to Whitchurch this autumn, with a safe twist on the tradition event.

"It goes without saying we’re probably all craving some vibrant colour, fun and creative spirit back in our lives," said Steve

"With its own safe twist on things Blackberry Fairs seasonal symphony returns this autumn, if not playing to its usual abundant format on the high street but still with an equally daringly different tale to share.

"In our diversely challenging world of social, cultural and environmental change, welcome to ‘The Power of Together’.

"[Last year] was a year like no other, denying us the simplest thing we take for granted, being together – to kiss, hold hands, laugh, dance, say I do or say goodbye.

"The flip side helped our land to breathe, the air became cleaner, rivers turned blue, others reclaimed their place, a digital voice emerged, loneliness, love, anguish and genuine community spirit rubbed distant shoulders.

"Life on the planet became different and nature showed us the meaning of together."


The new event will feature and art trail around Whitchurch over three weekends, including professional art pieces and live performances.

"Bringing The Power of Together to life across three weekends from September 18, Blackberry Fair is staging an imaginative art trail around Whitchurch, commissioning ten professional Artists to produce multi medic works for display at specific sites," added Steve.

"From the community orchard to an empty high street shop window, now is the chance to reconnect, value, respect and action our hopes for a better future with the urban and rural wilderness around us."

Steve is inviting community groups, businesses and individuals to engage with the new festival.

He added: "Community groups, businesses and individuals will all invited to support, sponsor and or participate with their own interpretive creations including an opportunity to be part of an exciting summer holiday Magical Garden Messy Art Family Project from Thursday, July 29 to Sunday, August 1 called 'The Snail and The Whale'.

"A story led project highlighting our needless accumulation of single use plastic and throw away junk culture – let’s change it for the better.

"This ‘Love where you Live’ event will culminate with a community picnic, including live performances, Blackberry’s anarchic street dance The Carnival of Hope, together with a musical finale and commemorative moment of reflection for all.

"To all artists and interested parties – if you’d like more details of how to get involved with any aspect of this project either professionally, voluntarily or in a way that compliments its purpose please contact blackberryfair@gmail.com, text 0777 304 7744 or follow us on social media.

"It’ll be as good as we all make it by coming together and Daring to be Different."