Special festival celebration
Last updated at 14:25, Tuesday, 21 February 2012
SINGING superstar Katherine Jenkins will top the bill on this year’s Whitehaven Festival concert stage.
Status Quo and Madness have already rocked Whitehaven and now Katherine Jenkins makes a return visit after a sensational debut in 2011.
Backed by a £280,000 Britain’s Energy Coast sponsorship package, this year’s event promises to be even more special as it has been timed to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
June 1-3 are the dates for what promises to be a bank-holiday weekend extravaganza, which could pull in even more visitors than last year’s 330,000.
Festival organiser in chief Gerard Richardson has already received a message via Buckingham Palace with Her Majesty’s best wishes for another great success.
Much of the festival centres on the town’s historic harbour. The Queen and Prince Philip have visited Whitehaven and have seen for themselves how it has been transformed.
Soaring high over the old port on the first of the concert nights (Friday June 1) will be the captivating mezzo-soprano voice of Katherine Jenkins.
Having described her Whitehaven singing debut as “special and touching”, Katherine was as keen to return as the organisers were to lure her back.
Says Gerard: “She’s fantastic, a world class act and improves year on year. Katherine has had two albums out since she was last here so there’s plenty of fresh material.
“To be perfectly honest if we had the opportunity to have Katherine every year then we’d take her every year, simple as that.”
Gerard believes Whitehaven Festival is going to be extra special this year, so much so that it will be called Whitehaven Festival Queen’s Diamond Jubilee event.
“No one will ever forget Her Majesty’s visit in 2008, so we have to seize the moment and celebrate her Diamond Jubilee,” he said.
“We are working on a few little twists to a theme which has a baking competition and some extra special entertainment.
“There will be appetising line-up of celebrity chefs, which are always a big attraction, and it’s nice that well-known chefs have been approaching us wanting to come along to take part.
“There’s also been a very interesting approach from the chap who made the world’s most expensive sweet.
“It’s a monster and he wants to demonstrate it here in Whitehaven.”
Among the chefs once again will be Jean-Christophe Novelli.
Last year Gerard and the renowned French cook combined to produce a popular DVD about all the good things Cumbria has to offer in the way of home produce food, and now the duo have teamed up again to launch a book promotingseafood.
“We’re also hoping to announce Jean-Christophe as seafood ambassador for Cumbria as well,” Gerard revealed.
“One of our newest ideas – provisionally called The Timeline Project – is a photographic exhibition designed to show Whitehaven’s ups and downs and how it has changed over the years during the Queen’s reign from 1952 until the present day.
“We are looking mainly at the town centre and we will be asking the public to donate photographs right up to the event.
“It promises to be absolutely fascinating and all the photos will be put on show in a marquee on the harbour Sugar Tongue.
“A lot of wonderful things will be happening all over the country to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee and we want to play our part.
“Also we want to show the rest of the country what a fantastic place West Cumbria is to visit and to do business.”
First published at 13:08, Thursday, 16 February 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk